Students who got lost for charity on February 22 and 23 have raised more than £4,000 for the Bath Place Community Venture in Leamington Spa.
Participants of the University of Warwick’s new event, Lost, were sponsored by friends and family to take a coach to an unknown location and had 36 hours to get back to University campus with no money.
After a long journey which involved participants being blindfolded and disorientated by the organisers, the secret location was revealed to be South Stack Lighthouse in Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales.
Despite the remote location, a number of the 21 participating teams, which contained between two and five people, managed to get a free train or a lift from a kind stranger.
Evelyn Carter, participant and first-year MORSE student, said: “It was the most… interesting experience of my life. We got a ride in a police car, and I also discovered that driving an automatic is worse than a manual!”
The winning team, ‘Two Blind Mice and a Giraffe’, impressively raced back to Warwick campus in under five hours.
All the other teams also managed to make it back to the University in the time limit without spending any money.
The event smashed its original target of £2,750, which projected £50 raised per participant. The total raised by the start of the event was £4,128.04, however, this figure could still increase.
Societies Warwick Jailbreak and Warwick Raising and Giving (RAG) collaborated to make this event possible.
Sian Elvin, media officer at Warwick Jailbreak, commented: “It was absolutely amazing to be an organiser of an event which has raised so much money for local charity Bath Place.
“The atmosphere waving off the coach was brilliant and it was really exciting tracking the teams as they got closer and closer to campus. On their return they all said they had a great time, too!”
The chosen charity, Bath Place Community Venture, has the aim of retaining the original Bath Place site for the community of Leamington, which burnt down in 2009.
The project will involve redeveloping what remains of the buildings, in order to preserve both its heritage and public function which include helping the homeless and the young. It is expected to cost more than £1 million.
Clayton Denwood, operations manager at Bath Place Community Venture, said: “The staff and trustees of Bath Place Community Venture would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the participants of Lost 2014 for showing such support for our cause, and raising an incredible £4128.04 towards our efforts to rebuild our fire-destroyed community centre.
“We’re extra pleased to hear that everyone made it back safely and that a great and memorable time was had by all.
“We’ve been following the adventure all weekend and have been amazed at the intrepid spirit and teamwork required to travel to Anglesey and back again with no money.
“We’d also like to say a special thanks to the organisers Warwick Jailbreak and Warwick RAG for thinking of us at this time and contributing towards our project.
“We will make sure to put the funds towards the best use possible and would invite anyone interested in what we’re trying to achieve to get in touch.”
In November, Warwick Jailbreak will launch its biggest event, Jailbreak, which requires students to get as far away from campus as possible in 36 hours, with no money.
In 2013 the event raised more than £20,000 for AICR SmartyPants and the winning students made it all the way to Lithuania.
Photo credits: Sian Elvin (top three), George Creasy (bottom)
Video credit: Frankie Perez