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Nine tonnes of student ‘waste’ raises £16,000 for charity

Volunteers celebrate the success of the Big Give

Volunteers celebrate the success of the Big Give

Elena Lynch, Bristol Hub Manager, with volunteers Sophie Ross, Naomi McKay and Rowan Cavendish

Elena Lynch, Bristol Hub Manager, with volunteers Sophie Ross, Naomi McKay and Rowan Cavendish

Press release issued: 1 August 2013

A record-breaking nine tonnes of unwanted items have been collected from students in Bristol and converted into over £16,000 for charity.

The University of Bristol’s annual ‘Big GIVE’ collection scheme has ensure that unwanted items, often dumped at the end of term, are instead donated to charity to benefit the community.

This year, the scheme was expanded to 15 university-owned halls and six UNITE properties.

It was run alongside the ‘The Summer Student Clear Out’ – a campaign to target private lets across the city, run in partnership with UWE Bristol and Bristol City Council to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. All three campaigns reached over 5,000 students.

A vast array of goods – from clothes and shoes, to food, kitchenware and bedding - was donated at designated collection points.

The average value from the thousands of charity bags collected is predicted to raise over £16,000 for 12 different charities, including St Peter’s Hospice, The Salvation Army, the RSPCA, the British Heart Foundation and 16-25 Independent People.

Bristol University donated a total of 1,116 bags to the British Heart Foundation, which will raise £9,151 towards the charity’s life-saving research work.

The ‘Big GIVE’ was organised in partnership with Bristol University’s Sustainability department and volunteers through UBU Volunteering, the Students’ Union volunteering programme, and Bristol Hub charity network.

A team of volunteers coordinated the whole process and took part in the collecting, sorting and distribution of items which could be reused through community projects or sold in charity shops.

Elena Lynch, Bristol Hub Manager, said: "It was great to see Bristol students taking the time and effort to donate to the Big Give. Instead of ending up in landfill, many of the items we collected will be used directly by people in need in Bristol. The student volunteers involved worked incredibly hard over the two days to sort huge piles of donations. Thank you to all of them, and all those who donated to the collection."

Jemma Harford, Community Engagement Officer at UBU, said: “We had a fantastic reaction from students to get involved with the campaign as volunteers and donors. It’s really encouraging that it’s been a record-breaking year as the Big GIVE aims to reduce the amount of junk discarded by students at the end of term, an issue which we appreciate is a big concern to local residents.”

Rose Rooney, from the Sustainability Department at the University of Bristol, said: “The Big GIVE is extremely important to help us promote the reuse of items at the University and provide students with the opportunity to have a positive impact on their environment and the local community. Thanks to everyone involved; including the students, partner organisations, volunteers and hall managers who either donated or volunteered during the event.”

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