On Friday 13 April, 13 pairs of students set off in a race from The SU to hitchhike all the way to Amsterdam to raise money for RAG’s (Raise & Give) Big 4 charities. So far, they have raised over £6000.
4 members of RAG lead on the event, not only putting in hours of planning leading up to the hitchhike, but also managing an office of volunteers tracking the pairs on their journeys. All of this hard work was done to ensure everyone arrived safely in Amsterdam; all 26 hitchikers made it within 27 hours - a big success for all involved.
James Trott, RAG Hitch organiser said “It has been a privilege to organise this event that has raised an outstanding amount for charity and give our student fundraisers an experience they will never forget!”
“I loved seeing the diversity in the routes the teams took, listening to their stories when they arrived and seeing the amazing fancy dress that they wore.”
“Thank you very much to the hard work put into fundraising, the office volunteers who tracked all our teams 24/7 and the other organisers of the trip who made the event run so smoothly and successfully!”
The first pair set off on their challenge at 07:30, with the rest following on in staggered departures until 10:30. Each pair also had to complete a scavenger hunt along the way to Amsterdam. This included finding a windmill, which one team managed to do before even getting to Swindon!
The winning pair were Alicia and Tom who arrived in Amsterdam in an impressive 13 hours and 32 minutes, with Will and Alex close behind with a time of 14 hours and 7 minutes. All of our pairs were successful, with everyone completing their journey within 27 hours. Our hitchikers were creative in their transport to Amsterdam; lots of pairs took the Dover Ferry, one pair got a coach from London, whilst another took the overnight ferry from Harwich.
As always, our pairs wore some fantastic fancy dress costumes; their creativity was outstanding this year with outfits ranging from unicorns, to Snow White and Prince Charming, bananas and waffles.
Lizzie Neale, participant said “What better way for a Prince & Princess to travel than carpooling with 6 friendly strangers, riding the waves on an overnight ferry & springing to jump aboard a double-decker train for free.”
“We spent the entire journey restoring our faith in the general public and posing for photos with admirers, always with smiles as permanent as the Sharpie-moustache Prince Charming was showcasing. 24 hours 39 minutes we'll never forget!”
The money raised will go to RAG’s Big 4 charities: Jamie’s Farm, The Genesis Trust, Children’s Hospice South West and Send a Cow.
The Amsterdam Hitch was a challenging but hugely rewarding experience for everyone involved. 13 pairs of students not only had an unforgettable adventure, but importantly raised an incredible amount of money that will make a big difference to all charities involved.
Thank you to all of the organisers who made this event happen, as well as all the volunteers and participants.
If you haven't already, there is still time to donate to RAG’s Amsterdam Hitch.