News | Leeds students escape the city

Students tested out their powers of persuasion last week by taking part in Leeds RAG’s Jailbreak event.

As part of the challenge, students raising money for various different charities set off from the Parkinson steps at 9am on Monday, with 36 hours to make it as far away from Leeds as they could without spending any of their own money on transport.

Some methods employed included hitchhiking, fundraising, sponsorship and acquiring free public transport.

One of the contestants was Giovanni Da Costa, a third year Broadcast Journalism student who managed to make it to Genoa, Italy. Speaking about the event he said: “It was really worth it to get to Italy, we managed to blag nine forms of free transport, and after the Jailbreak was over we had a trip to Venice! Even better, it was all in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.”

Some of the charities students hitched in aid of included The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and S.T.A.R.S.

Megan Williams and Robbie Hollis were the team to get the furthest in the challenge, managing to score a return flight all the way to Orlando, Florida.

Williams said of their win: “We had no idea we’d end up so far away. We wanted to at least to make it out of England to somewhere in Europe, so to end up in America was crazy and the last thing either of us expected.”

“We had travel contributions from sponsors to get the flight – Rough Hill, Americamp, Invasion, Warehouse and The Proper Sandwich Company – so a huge thanks goes to them.”

Megan was raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She said: “My grandma has the condition so it’s a charity really special to me.”

Of her time in Orlando she said: “We had just over two days in Orlando before our flight back, so one day was spent by the pool at our hotel to make the most of the weather and the other day we went to Disney World. Being back in the library is a shock to the system to say the least.”

Travel company GoEuro also offered a £500 donation to runners-up Lucy Storrow and Katie Reynolds, who won an online voting competition. Storrow and Reynolds were fundraising for The Christie Charity and managed to hitch to Malaga.

Naren Shaam, Founder of GoEuro, said: “We are delighted to donate money to help Lucy and Katie support The Christie Charity. Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Jailbreak, it’s a clever competition that raises a substantial amount of money for worthy causes.

Storrow said: “We are very proud to have raised £1,270 for The Christie Charity and want to thank GoEuro for their generous donation. This was a great event and a fantastic experience which we won’t forget.”

Sean Hayes

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