Lancaster students run, swim, and row 2,300km to support Ukraine refugees

A group of sixth formers at Lancaster Royal Grammar School have been taking part in a gruelling challenge to raise money for people in Ukraine.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 21st March 2022, 1:27 pm

The 23 students have between them been running, swimming and rowing the equivalent of the 2,300km between Lancaster and Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

The fundraiser was set up by Tom Anderton and Riley Hutton to benefit Disasters Emergency Committee - an umbrella group of UK charities that provides emergency aid to people involved in humanitarian crises worldwide.

Funds provided will go towards food, blankets, and hygiene supplies for people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

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Some of the LRGS students taking part in the challenge. Tom Anderton is pictured front left.

Tom said: “Having seen the coverage of the ongoing war in Ukraine, my friends and I felt compelled to help support humanitarian efforts. This crisis affects us particularly, as one of our friends is half Ukrainian, and her mother has been travelling to Ukraine to help evacuate her family.

“After a few days of brainstorming ideas, we had come up with the idea of running the 2,300km between Lancaster and Kyiv.

“All we then needed to do was to get 23 people together, each willing to run, row, or swim 100km - which would bring our total up to 2,300. Much to our surprise, many people were very enthusiastic to help us out in the fundraising.“From there it was all about getting our website and GoFundMe set up. One of my friends has a passion for computing and decided to build our website from scratch, without the use of any third-party website software.

"This was a massive success and helped give us a way for supporters to track our progress."

The students had initially aimed to raise £2,300 - one pound for every kilometre – but this has already been surpassed.

Tom said: “From the official launch on March 9, we received support initially just from family and friends, but after a few social media posts, we received it from further afield too.

“We have made good progress on the distance, covering 609.2km in just over one week. Having absolutely smashed our goal for donations, we have increased our goal tenfold, to £23,000.”

One student said: “I have had a great time, although very tiring, pushing myself to reach the distance goal as well as competing with the other members of the team. Knowing that we are raising money for a very good cause makes it even more worthwhile.”

You can support them online here.