Have the experience of a lifetime with Leeds RAG this summer!

What are your plans this summer? How about getting involved with LUU’s biggest fundraising society by completing one of the many challenges and projects running this spring and summer? There are a huge range to choose from, for all abilities. So, what are you waiting for?


The Uganda Project

Do you want to make a real difference? Do you want to help out a very worthwhile cause, make new friends and have the experience of a lifetime?

The Leeds RAG Uganda Project 2019 is an international volunteering project, supporting Soft Power Education, a grass roots charity based in Jinja, Uganda. If you sign up to this project, you will fundraise in Leeds, before travelling to Uganda for four weeks in June and July to carry out a renovation project on a school-in-need to create a safe, inspiring, and creative learning environment. There will also be the opportunity to lead enrichment activities for the children, go on safari in your downtime and experience the exciting, vibrant culture that Uganda has to offer.

Andrew Kruze, volunteer in 2018 said: “Taking part truly was a life-changing experience! The opportunity to improve the lives of people far less fortunate than ourselves will stay with me forever. The thought of signing up may initially seem daunting but trust me it is more than worth it. Your only worry by the end will be that you have to fly back.”

Key facts:

When: 17th June-12th July

Fundraising Target: £700

Charity: Soft Power Education

Project cost: £100 placement fee + personal expenses

Contact: leedsrag.uganda@gmail.com

Deadline for sign-ups: 18th February

Image: Leeds RAG

Cycling Challenges

If fitness, travelling and fundraising are your things, then why not sign up to a cycling challenge? These are the most physically demanding challenges you could do and range in ability. Once you arrive in your destination, you are free to sight-see, celebrate and relax. This is a great opportunity for those who want to get fitter, complete an amazing endurance challenge and be part of a large team that will raise at least £10,000 for three excellent charities.

Bike to Berlin

This challenge will raise money for Coop Uganda, a charity whose vision is to create social enterprise cycling projects in Uganda. You’ll fundraise in the spring, before completing the ride from 15th to 22nd June. Covering 550 miles, you’ll cycle from Leeds, through the Netherlands, onto Germany, where your ride will finish at the famous Brandenburg gate.

Pedal to Prague

A step up from Bike to Berlin, Pedal to Prague entails a 9 day cycle ride in June, from Leeds, through the Netherlands and Germany, on to the Czech Republic. You’ll fundraise for Behind Closed Doors, a Leeds based domestic violence charity. The ride will take place from 12th to 20th June.

Ruby Woloski cycled to Prague in 2018 and said: “It’s something that you probably won’t have the opportunity to do again with loads of likeminded people your age. It’s a struggle but you struggle together so it’s like a bonding experience which makes it so fun!”

Bike to Barcelona

RAG’s most physically demanding challenge covering 1100 miles, Bike to Barcelona is for those who want the ultimate physical challenge. You will begin in Leeds, cycling down to Dover, through France, over the mountains and on to Barcelona. This will fundraise for Mental Health Foundation, taking place from 18th June to 1st July.

Key facts:

When: June

Fundraising Target: £200

Charity: Coop Uganda, Behind Closed Doors or Mental Health Foundation

Contact: cycling.leedsrag@gmail.com

Deadline for sign-ups: 15th February

Image: Leeds RAG

Endurance Challenges

If you fancy a challenge a little more local, why not sign up for one of the endurance challenges? There is something for every ability, from the super-fit gym-goers, to those whose only exercise is a dance at Fruity.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

This entails finishing all three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales within 24 hours. This event takes place on 30th May and is accessibly for everyone, including students, staff, alumni and non-students, of any hiking experience or ability. Fundraising will go to Leeds Autism.

Leeds Half Marathon

On May 15th, you could be running the streets of Leeds, raising money for St. John’s Ambulance as you complete the Leeds Half Marathon. This challenge will help push your physical limits as you take part in a running regime.

24 Peaks Challenge

If three peaks isn’t enough for you, why not try the 24 peaks challenge? This endurance challenge will see you climb 24 peaks in the Lake District in June. The fundraising for this goes directly to Guide Dogs. This is highly challenging but is worth it for the stunning views and amazing feeling you’ll experience when you complete it.

Key facts:

When: May-June

Charity: Leeds Autism, Guides Dogs or St. John’s Ambulance

Contact: endurance1.rag@gmail.com

Deadline for sign-ups: Mid-March (3 Peaks), May (Leeds Half), June (24 Peaks)

Image: Leeds RAG


This is a fantastic opportunity to travel, meet new people and raise money for charity. These challenges also have a competition element, so if you’re competitive, this one is for you.

Jailbreak Hitch

On 30th March, participants have 36 hours to get as far away from Leeds as possible without spending a penny. There is a prize of 2 tickets to Leeds Festival for the team that travels the furthest. There is a fundraising target of £175 for Emmaus Leeds. Previous winners have reached Florida, Hong Kong and Sydney! Think you can do better?


Missed out on Glastonbury tickets? You can still go by taking part in the Glastonbury Hitch and raising money for WaterAid. Upon arrival, you’ll need to volunteer for 3x 8 hour shifts at the festival and you’ll be able to enjoy the festival however you like.

Key facts:

When: March (Jailbreak), July (Glasto)

Charity: Emmaus Leeds, WaterAid

Contact: hitches.leedsrag@gmail.com

Deadline for sign-ups: 22nd February (Jailbreak), 15th February (Glasto)


Eleanor Smith

(Image courtesy of Ella Mancel)