A Sussex-based cheerleading squad ditched the drinks in the autumn to raise money for RISE, a charity which helps those affected by domestic abuse. The University of Sussex students abstained from alcohol for a month and the money raised will go towards the group’s £3,000 academic year fundraising target.
The Alcohol Change UK campaign, Dry January is an appropriate one after the Christmas and New Year period when for all too many the season of goodwill brings excess alcohol consumption. However, a group of charitable University of Sussex cheerleading undergraduates decided to ditch the drinks and pretox ahead of Christmas and in doing so raise money for Brighton-based domestic abuse charity, RISE.
Leading the fundraising, Caitlin Mckever, a second-year student who is studying history at the university, says: “It is a local charity which we feel like is always important to support as they may not get as much help as national organisations. The subject of domestic abuse is also very close to some of our member’s hearts and a rising issue in today’s society that we feel needs more talking about and help towards.”
The cheerleading squad, Sussex Swallows of which Caitlin has been a member of for a year has organised a variety of fun events to raise much-needed money for RISE. Last year, the Sussex Swallows raised £1,700 by taking part in a superhero-themed run and cake sales. Following last year’s success, the cheerleaders now hope to at least double that figure, if not achieve a fundraising total closer to £3,000.
Speaking about fundraising, Caitlin said: “My committee title is charity and fundraising, we like to work as a team and all put ideas in possible fundraising events and then I will go through and do the core organising and pull it all together. We chose to fundraise for them last year and due to the kindness and welcoming of the people running the charity towards us, we have chosen to continue to support them.”
Explaining why the cheerleading students decided to ditch the drink for a month, Caitlin says that it was during a university committee meeting that students were talking at length about how alcohol affects them in negative ways. The students openly questioned why they put themselves through the traumas of hangovers and the worries of not remembering what they had said on a night out on the town.
Caitlin adds: “A few of the girls decided that they wouldn’t drink for November and then chatting about it further we thought why not make it into a sponsored sober month. We looked online and found statistics for how much domestic abuse increases under the influence of alcohol and decided to raise money for those who are the victims of abuse of a person under the influence of alcohol.”[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]
Rising Up Against Domestic Abuse
The good cause which the members of Sussex Swallows went sober in November for, RISE is a charity which helps people affected by domestic abuse. For more information about the charity, visit: www.riseuk.org.uk[/box]