The Big May Ball Appeal for coronavirus launches in Cambridge

The ‘Big MAC’ appeal asks students to donate a portion of their May Ball refunds to tackle COVID-19


Disappointed that May Week has been cancelled? The Big May Ball Appeal for Coronavirus, aka The Big MAC, is here to turn this into something positive!

The Big MAC team surveyed nearly 200 Cambridge students and found that 70% would donate part of their refunded May Ball ticket to charity. Students confirmed they wanted funds raised to go to COVID-19 relevant charities and those that have other areas of focus too. They expect that through a centralised campaign, Cambridge students could raise nearly £50,000! That is why The Big MAC is asking all May Ball ticket holders to consider donating a portion of their refund to the appeal to help tackle COVID-19.

You can find their Facebook page here.

Based on the survey results and a recent Effective Altruism report on the best places to donate for COVID-19, money will go towards the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. The appeal will be launched in the coming days and it will last until the end of May Week (19 June).

John Hopkins Centre for Health Security is an international charity which focuses on tackling pandemics through biosecurity research and maintaining a COVID-19 resource centre. Addenbrooke’s, an institution closely linked to Cambridge University, is raising money to support their staff during this difficult time and provide equipment needed to support the Intensive Care Unit.

The majority of Cambridge’s May Balls and June Events, including RAG, have agreed to support The Big MAC. May Ball Committees are working around the clock to finalise refund policies right now, but will advertise how to donate once they have done so. With the Coronavirus pandemic taking away our beloved May Week, let’s turn this into something positive and come together as a university to raise as much as we can to tackle Coronavirus, so next year we can have fun again in a safer world!

Further information will be released on The Big MAC’s Facebook page, via May Ball pages and ticketing officers, and RAG. Give The Big MAC’s Facebook page a like for more updates and email Jade Charles or Zehn Mehmood ([email protected], [email protected]) if you would like to get involved with the campaign.

*UPDATE: The Big MAC is now donating to The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Research (CSER) instead of John Hopkins Centre for Health Security, and will continue to donate to Addenbrooke’s.