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Adventure rewarded at brand new student event

2 December 2013

Adventure rewarded at brand new student event

The achievements of students who have encouraged fundraising through adventure challenges were celebrated this weekend at the first Student Adventures Adventure Leader Awards.

Sponsored by not-for-profit online fundraising service Virgin Money Giving, the movie premiere-themed ceremony took place at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London’s Southbank on Saturday 30 November.

Student Adventures works with Rags and charities to encourage students to participate in charity adventures. The Student Adventures Adventure Leader Awards 2013 were designed to celebrate success and achievement, as well as inspire new student adventure leaders for 2014.

More than 70 students from across the country were welcomed with a special surprise video from Sir Richard Branson, in which he thanked them for their hard work.

There were 10 awards presented on the night, and these were:

  • Student Adventures Photo of the Year - Richard Francis from Portsmouth University
  • Student Adventures Team of the Year - Portsmouth Rag
  • Recruitment and Fundraising Campaign of the Year - Nottingham Karnival
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year - Plymouth University
  • Fundraisers of the Year - Warwick University’s five-day cycling team
  • Most Improved Rag - Southampton Rag
  • Fundraising Idea of the Year - Lee Watson from Portsmouth University for his naked playing cards
  • Student Adventures Rag of the Year - Warwick Rag
  • Outstanding Achievement of the Year - Hollie Foster from Portsmouth University
  • Adventure Leader of the Year - Laura Jane Ryves from Kent University

And a special mention went to Tom Silcock from Loughborough University who put together the show reel for the night, making it feel like the Oscars!

Student Adventures was founded in 2009 by Jock Wright, the organisation’s Events Director, and Managing Director Jonathan Hansford, following their own experience of fundraising at university. Over the years, hundreds of students have taken part in a variety of challenges, ranging from hiking to the top of Kilimanjaro or over the Andes to Machu Pichu, cycling to Paris and driving across Europe. In partnership with Rags and charities, it is estimated that Student Adventures has inspired students to raise more than £3.5million for charity over the last three years.

Jock said: “Our volunteers, who we call our Adventure Leaders, are at the heart of Student Adventures and they give their time to inspire and support student teams in raising tens of thousands of pounds before leading the way to some far flung destination.

“The inaugural Adventure Leaders Awards Night, which was kindly sponsored by Virgin Money Giving, gave us and the benefiting charities a fantastic opportunity to recognise the incredible work of these students, who in the last full academic year, helped their student teams raise in excess of £2 million for causes such as Practical Action, Meningitis Research Foundation and Breast Cancer Campaign, to name a few.

“It was a terrific night and I hope it will be the even bigger and better next year. Our thanks have to go to Virgin Money Giving, which is also our official fundraising partner, for their sponsorship to help make this possible. “

To find out more about Student Adventures, visit To find out more about Virgin Money’s not-for-profit fundraising website Virgin Money Giving, visit

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Media Contacts
Student Adventures
Tel: 0845 643 9801


About Student Adventures:

Student Adventures was forged in the fires of university way back in the mists of time when two guys decided that they needed a challenge and settled on climbing Kilimanjaro. With a fundraising target of £23,000 for a small children's charity, they set about training and fundraising with gusto.

To enable them to reach their target they developed and delivered the inaugural 5 Peaks Challenge at Loughborough University, which saw them and 56 of their fellow students take to the hills in the UK for an amazing few days. After reaching the summits of the mountains it was decided that they would carry on doing 5 Peaks and offering it to students to take part in an incredible adventure for charity. Eight years on, 5 Peaks is still running and has seen well over 500 students take part.

Having grown up just a little, leaving university and entering into the world of grown ups, the team started gaining experience in the charity sector and international development. After a few years the wanderlust to set up and do more challenges soon came back. The company was borne, GB Charity Events, in 2007.

After a few years the team at GB Charity Events realised that students were some of the most vibrant, ‘can-do’ and open minded people around. From our experience, students clearly love the challenge of the hills, open road and foreign countries. However, costs and high fundraising targets were always a bar for many students to be able to experience the Adventure, until now...

Student Adventures was created and our adventures have been tailor-made for students, ensuring the challenge is there but the costs and sponsorship targets are affordable and achievable. Having never lost their sense of adventure, these two guys are back doing what they love most - challenging students to take on the adventure. Student Adventures, for those who dare!

About Virgin Money Giving

  • Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit online fundraising arm of Virgin Money and was established in 2009. Virgin Money uses its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that Virgin Money Giving is efficient, secure and offers a high quality service to all fundraisers, charities and those wanting to donate to charity online
  • is free for fundraisers, charges a flat registration fee of £100 + VAT for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid, which means for every £10 raised, charities receive £12.16. Virgin Money Giving charges charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any money left over after covering operating costs goes towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities
  • Fundraisers can personalise their fundraising pages, send out email alerts and manage their fundraising events. They can include their own content, photos and links to their page as well as customise messages for their supporters. Fundraisers can also link their page to social networking sites. Virgin Money Giving also contains fundraising ideas and tips, offering help and advice to fundraisers on how to raise more for charity