Coventry University London Campus raises over £14,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust

Thursday 04 February 2016


Recently the London Campus has been in touch with Hailey Amani, Regional Fundraiser and representative from Teenage Cancer Trust. Since 2012, the Synergy Challenge has run at the London Campus. Students compete in teams against each other, each with the goal of raising the most amount of money for the charity. They are given no start-up costs and must raise their money from scratch. Each team must present their findings in front of a panel of judges and an audience. They are judged on the nature of events, the co-ordination and marketing, their networking skills, team spirit, total funds raised and their finance management.

The partnership between Coventry University London Campus and Teenage Cancer Trust is mutually beneficial. Participants have said that the Synergy Business Challenge has been an invaluable experience in teaching them how to raise money from scratch, work in teams and gain an insight into working for a not for profit organisation.

Over six cycles of the challenge, Coventry University London Campus has raised £14,475.66 for Teenage Cancer Trust. Hailey Amani said,

"We are so grateful for all the students that take part in the Synergy Challenge, we’re aware of the fact that it has taken their time and effort outside of university and their studies, and we really appreciate it. We've always been so impressed with their ideas and how hard working that all the teams over the years have been."

For Teenage Cancer Trust, Hailey from Teenage Cancer Trust has given us an insight into how the work of the students and the co-ordinator of the project, Business Development Executive, Richard Moon, has had on the charity. The funds have gone towards The Teenage Cancer Trust Hub at the Macmillan Cancer Centre, University College Hospital London.

To give a perspective of the impact of the funds raised by the Synergy participants, Hailey provided us with some statistics as to what the London Campus could contribute to:

"At our care units all over the UK we have activity co-ordinators, these are the people that work at the care units who get to know the patients and their families. They will be the people who will get the patients out of their beds, and will get them to mix together and arrange activities for them to complete – whether this is PlayStation, or arts and crafts. We aim to create the conditions of a youth hostel or student accommodation. The money raised by the university is enough to contribute to the activity budget for seven different hospitals for a whole year. Considering that Teenage Cancer Trust has a 28 units, Coventry University London Campus has contributed to a quarter of the hospital facilities that we operate around the UK. A different statistic is that the funds raised has paid for three months of nursing support towards the hospital. This is pretty amazing when you consider it's the fundraising that Synergy students have done in such a short period of time."

Some of the ideas that Hailey found particular impressive were a bucket collection at Liverpool Street Station.

"I thought it was pretty amazing. As a charity we struggle to get those permits and I was trying to found out how they did it! They told me that all they did was write a letter and I thought it couldn't have been that easy! Another one idea was a group writing to a group of companies, one of which was the Hummingbird Bakery to inquire about getting some free goods. I thought that was really entrepreneurial and brilliant because they're using their business skills without having to pay any money out which is really great to see students thinking out of the box."​

A group trip to Oxford was a method of raising money which Hailey thought was incredible:

"There are so many facets in organising something like that – firstly, the organisation, competitive prices, and working out how much money to charge in addition to the start-up costs in order to make a profit. On top of that, it's a really great social trip! Students have told me that they've made a lot of friends, and it just sounded really lovely.

"We'd like to say a special thank you for Richard Moon, as this wouldn't happen with him and all the effort that he's put in towards it. In the future we would love to develop the Synergy Challenge as an Inter-Uni competition so this is something that we're looking forward to developing in the future."​

Richard Moon, Business Development Executive at Coventry University London Campus said:

"We have been delivering Synergy in collaboration with the Teenage Cancer Trust since March 2012 and have recently finished the 6th running of the challenge. Synergy gives our students the opportunity to experience what it's like to run a real business on a small scale whilst raising money for a great charity. Synergy is open to all students, and many of the teams who compete are made up of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, so it's also a great way for students to make friends and have fun."