Posted: 23 February 2015

Student fundraiser Samantha tells us about her time participating in The Kilimanjaro Trek

Today, we hear from one our student fundraisers, Samantha.

1. Could you tell us your name, where you study and what course are you doing?

Hi There! I am Samantha Oliver, a first year Social Science student at Bath University.

2. Why and how did you get involved in the trek for The Children’s Society?

When starting university, I wanted to challenge myself with tasks that were completely out of my comfort zone. The Kilimanjaro Trek at Bath gave me the opportunity to do this. I particularly had an interest in this trek as not only did it give me the fulfillment of raising money for such a worthwhile charity, but I could do this alongside a group of fellow students, which as a first year meant that I could meet people who I may not have otherwise crossed paths with. Yet, you cannot ignore the prospect that after all this I am given the astounding opportunity to summit the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro with all these people whom I have met fundraising along the way.

3. What are you currently doing to fundraise? 

One event in which I am predominantly looking forward to organising for my fundraising is a 5 mile sponsored walk. I am so grateful for the fact that my step-dad, Kev volunteered himself to take part in this walk.

I am particularly appreciative of this, as my step-dad tragically was involved in a bike accident around 20 years ago which resulted in detrimental damage to both the right hand side of his brain and the left hand side of his body, causing spasticity in his muscles. At this time, Kev was made aware that it was unlikely he would ever walk again, but through sheer determination he has now reached a level where he is able to walk with just the simple aid of crutches.

An astonishing success if you ask me… Although 5 miles may not seem a significant distance to yourself, but for Kev this walk will take around 9-10 hours and he will most likely suffer from the endurance of this for days after the event. I hope that this gallant offering to challenge himself will provide individuals with the incentive to donate to The Children’s Society and I personally will be there supporting him every step of the way. 

4. What has been your favourite experience of your volunteering/fundraising? Why? What have you been most inspired by?

My favourite experience during this fundraising is the ability to make fundraising an enjoyable and social activity with all my family and friends. Not only have they supported me by donating to this cause (which as many of my friends are students, I know how hard this can be at times), but they have also supported myself through volunteering themselves for any events I may need assistance with or helping me out fundraising ideas. I cannot thank them all enough for the support they have provided this whole past year. 

5. What would be your three top tips to new student fundraiser to make the most out of their experience and reach their targets?

1) Run events that you and your friends would normally attend socially, it makes it so much more entertaining when organising the event and then you can actually enjoy the event yourself!

2) Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t make much money from a fundraising activity, every little helps…

3) Try and cater your activity or event towards the seasonal holidays; sell Santa hats at Christmas, roses on valentines. 

6. Would you like to write for us?

If you are a student fundraiser and you would like to write for us please get in touch with our student fundraising manager.

What better way to share your achievements and raise funding for the work that we do?  

By Samantha Oliver - Guest bloggers