Are you tired of the Big Freeze gripping the nation? Do you look forward to the days when the temperature stays above freezing? For us, this spell of weather is mild compared to what awaits us between 5th and 12th March of this year!
Adventurous, brave or just plain stupid, our names are Pippa Field and Ruth Hopkins and we have chosen to undertake an Arctic survival week in Sweden to raise money for Age Concern Exeter. We are both second year students at the University of Exeter and came across Age Concern Exeter at a university volunteering fair last year. One of us is involved in the home visiting scheme, visiting a lady in Heavitree once a week to talk about everything and anything! The visits are very lively, sometimes even divulging into French for an hour or two!
After hearing Penny’s stories upon her return from last year’s Arctic survival week, we thought a similar trip this year would provide a unique experience and certainly something different from lectures and essays. The week involves learning how to survive in a harsh environment with sub-zero temperatures as low as minus 30. Without doubt, the week is going to test us to our limits. This recent cold weather has really highlighted how cold it is going to get and the dangers of the trip.
As unforgettable as the trip will be, the reason for which we have chosen to undertake it is very important; to be able to donate a large sum of money towards the Social Support projects of which voluntary visiting is a large part. From being a part of Age Concern Exeter for the last eighteen months, we have seen how important the work is for the community. From our perspective, volunteering for Age Concern in Exeter has provided us with way of emerging out of what can quickly become a student bubble, to see the work that takes place within the older sections of the community. For this reason, we are very happy to raise money and support such a worthy charity.
Fundraising events that we have organised so far include various bag packs, running the Great West Run, a classical music concert, quiz night and a guess the number of sweets in a jar competition. We are not finished yet though and have a series of further events planned between now and the trip to help us reach our all important targets.
Hopefully we’ll get an account of how they got on very soon. Well done girls!