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Arts Fundraiser for Ukraine

Camila Torres Copywriter Sandwich Year Student

By Sasha Hampshire

As a Ukrainian student at MMU, I was keen on significantly contributing to benefit people in my home country during these difficult times. Supporting and encouraging my fundraising, Rise proved to be a reliable programme that helps students and their initiatives reach their full potential.

When I first heard the news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I felt powerless. I watched from afar as the whole nation suffered from the terrible consequences of war, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was helpless.

I believed personal donations and social media activism were not enough, and as the situation progressed, I felt more and more the need to take matters into my own hands.

So, I did.

As an MA Graphic Design and Art Direction student, the most natural thing for me to do was something art-related. I got in touch with the Student Union’s aAh! Magazine to potentially partner for an exhibition-type event or an auction. However, in the end, it seemed that an art sale would gather the most proceeds. I distributed posters calling for submissions of artwork donations – I was anxious about getting a good response as this was a crucial stage for the event’s success. I utilised my university contacts and social media groups to get the word out as much as possible. Partnering with Olivia Bell, a friend from the Design department, was priceless, and our teamwork and drive were vital to our accomplishment. Project management wasn’t easy as we had never organised a sale before (this becoming an increasingly large one), and we still had other commitments and studies alongside it.

During the art sale, Rise staff approached my stall and praised me for my resourcefulness. They were impressed by my initiative and wanted to help. They recognised the need for a bigger platform, so they offered me information about a new event where I could continue my art sale. They facilitated the required permissions and even awarded me Rise points for my effort.

Of course, the most important aspect of this experience is what the Ukrainian community will gain from the funds raised, which currently stand at £657.76. More than I had ever hoped for! However, it is undeniable that the experience has taught me so much more. From event planning and organising finances to marketing and networking that built the basement and acquired connections for our future careers.

Rise recognised, supported and boosted my fundraising work. The proceeds I managed to raise were positively impacted by the event Rise facilitated, as I was able to reach a greater audience by selling art before a large senior staff meeting. It is reassuring and motivating to know that Rise values and validates students’ independent efforts, regardless of being part of their program or not. I hope it inspires many more to follow their own initiatives and aspirations, knowing that Rise has their back. I would definitely recommend getting involved with the programme and to continuously check the diverse opportunities they offer on their webpage.