King’s ISOC raises nearly £100,000 for Charity Week

We beat LSE with £93k

Every year, we hear volunteers on campus shouting the tune we’ve all come to love (or hate, depending on how many cakes you’ve had) – “cakes for charity”.

Speaking to The Tab King’s, Attal and Iqra, who are Head Brother and Sister for Charity Week, Strand’s rep, Ayesha and Strand Head Sister, Thahira, gave a bit more information of the fundraising scheme that has raised nearly £100,000.

How did Charity Week first start? 

It started in 2003 with a handful of university students in South London and a bucket. In the early years of the project, we continued to raise a few hundred pounds each year – the collective total for 2004 was £30,000.

Over the years we have gone from strength to strength. King’s is often in the top three, and this year we raised a phenomenal £93, 291.44. We came second in the world (next year UCL) with a collective total of £1,057,220.12.

How much effort goes on behind the scenes?

Charity Week, which lasts two weeks, takes months of planning to finalise events. We have to co-ordinate all three campuses at King’s and make sure everything is fun for volunteers without losing sight of our cause and intentions. We create competition on social media to hype things up a bit. Planning will begin again in July, after exams.

Charity Week would be nothing without the volunteers. They take time out of their busy schedules to organise events, supervise the stalls and do bucket collection in tube stations. But that’s just only a few things they do.

Any cool things that have happened during Charity Week?

A few bucket collection volunteers met Carey Mulligan outside Downing Street. She was on her way to a demonstration encouraging Britain to do more to help refugees. She’s the ambassador of War Child, and we were raising money for a similar cause, so she stopped to chat. She’s such a genuine person.

Our event Killer Minds was nominated for the Most Innovative Event in the World! We all gathered to solve a murder mystery around the campuses, finding clues in books and bushes. It was the best event from both UK and international universities.

What project did you fund this year?

Every year we are given a choice of four projects and we vote for the one we want to donate towards. The 2016 choices were: Sponsoring orphans in Bangladesh, providing free medical care for Syrian children, building education centres in Gaza or funding a fostering system for displaced refugees in Europe.

Due to the amazing amount raised this year, all four projects will be funded. The progress will be published on the Charity Week Annual Report come January. It is accessible to anyone, and we get to see exactly how and where the money is spent.

Do you fundraise for national projects? 

In 2015 we voted to donate towards psychological and wider support for refugees to help them integrate into Birmingham communities. But ISOC’s sub-project, ARK, deals with homelessness around London. On weekdays, students help distribute food to the homeless and anyone can get involved with this.

Finally, can anyone get involved in Charity Week 2017?

Of course! Charity Week is all inclusive – we have a variety of volunteers and people who came to our events. That’s what makes it so special. We all unite for a good cause, that’s why the results are so great at King’s!

Especially as it happens at the same time as Freshers’, we get to meet so many different people and simply have fun raising money. The results have been so amazing because of everyone’s dedication. A huge shoutout to everyone involved!