We met the president of GUCFS
She’s really lovely
In its second year of running, GUCFS have already made a huge name for themselves, having raised over £3000 for their chosen charity at the 2015 show. This year, GUCFS are fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust, with various fundraising events throughout the year culminating in the “Unleashed” Fashion Show on 27th February 2016 at SWG3.
The Tab got to speak to Kristen Don, a Business and Management fourth year and the current president of Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show.
We began with talking about their chosen charity, and how fundraising for them will help. Kristen said: “We are working closely with Teenage Cancer Trust in order to donate to the two units in the Glasgow area. There’s the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and the newly established unit in the Royal Hospital for Children and all donations will go to the care and upkeep of those units.
“This year we are focusing on an awareness campaign. We are interested in educating those around us with the signs of cancer, where to go if you think your friend has cancer, what do do about things like sex and relationships, as well as telling those inspiring stories that are relatable. If we can nip it in the bud and educate at a young age, then maybe, just maybe we can make a difference long term.”
Costs for such a huge event are always going to be difficult, from smaller events and campaigns throughout the year, to the huge one in February, but Kristen as ever, has ideas upon ideas to keep costs low.
“I’ve worked with charities, and the production of events actually, most my life. But this project means so much more to me. As with many people, it’s something so close to my heart, and cancer especially is something that I want to create a public understanding of. When you spend so much time on a project it becomes a part of your being.
“Negotiations have been in place for venue and production since June 2015 in order to prepare for the show in February 2016. We are constantly sourcing donations towards the project. As with all event planning, we plan carefully. Nothing is decided on a whim.”
Kristen says the society also wants to help local businesses. “One of the things as well that I want to get through framework of GUCFS – the core to what we do is to both raise money and awareness for our annually chosen charity. We provide a platform for young designers,, fashion students, and to creatives across Scotland and the UK to collaborate. We also support local businesses, venues and artists.
“On top of that, GUCFS nurtures the talents of the committee. Driven students volunteer their time and dedication for this year long project which demands attention. We work on sponsorship from April until the show, so it’s almost a full year of work there. We work on creative campaigns and marketing throughout the academic year. We also produce and organise one of the largest student events of the year..
“It’s not just a show in February – this is a year long creative project that a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into.”
Kristen added: “What I’m saying is that – yes GUCFS is a philanthropic society, but in my view, just donating an amount to charity isn’t enough. We have to build a platform for education in order to make a change.
“While we’re on that topic – I’d like to draw attention to the work of the committee who have been working tirelessly to ensure that GUCFS benefits Teenage Cancer Trust. The committee are fed up of me saying creative fundraising. [laughs] They work tirelessly every week to implement action points that affect our final goal. There’s a lot of unseen work that goes on behind the scenes, in order create an event, or produce a campaign.
“GUCFS has extremely high standards as a society and we aim to produce a very high quality at a low cost. The committee are brand ambassadors of GUCFS and Teenage Cancer Trust, and I am so grateful to work alongside each and every one of them.
“As a society in their second year of running, this is ultimately my favourite thing about GUCFS, because each and every day is a learning curve and I’m watching us grow and develop every single day.”