Three Cheers for Charity

The Royal Holloway Cheerleading club were unprecedented in their most recent act of fundraising, in which they took part in a 12-hour cheer-a-thon to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. The members practiced their routines from 9am to 9pm, consistently cheering from the moment their feet touched the mats until they could be replaced with another member of the Cheerleading club.

All five teams under the Royal Holloway Cheerleading umbrella, including both all-girl teams, the hip hop dance team, the jazz team and the sideline team, participated in the fundraiser outside Bourne Laboratory in order to raise as much money as possible. When they began their cheer-a-thon, only 75% of their £800 goal was raised but by the end of the day, donations reached £825, surpassing their fundraising goal for Roy Castle.

Shannon Winslade, President of RHUL Cheerleading, gave us a quote in order to explain the motivation behind the fundraiser and how they got involved with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. She stated that the “committee have been trying to think of a way […] to use our cheer skills to not only show off how hard it actually is, but also to see how much money we could raise.” The Cheerleading club has over 100 members and as they “wanted to get every member involved, the cheer-a-thon seemed like the perfect way” to do so.

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Winslade also asserted that they “chose Roy castle lung cancer foundation because it was specific to combating and supporting those affected by lung cancer. Many members of the committee have had family members that are suffering or who have suffered with lung cancer [and] we wanted to show our support for our members through this. This charity also helps those who have family members with lung cancer and provides support to those affected which we believed was a special aspect to the charity’s work.”

The charity provides “information and support to lung cancer patients” through their telephone helpline and website. It also funds over £1 million for lung cancer research every year, enabling better treatments and screening processes for people that need it.

The club has been in contact with Roy Castle and the charity has been very enthusiastic about their fundraiser and helpful in sending them t-shirts, fundraising packs, posters, all of which enable the cheer members to spread the message about the fundraiser and the charity across Royal Holloway’s campus.

To see more of RHUL Cheerleading’s charity work, please visit their facebook page or their SU page. In addition, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s website has many ways for people to get involved, including donations, volunteering and fundraisers.

Original Photography by Michele Theil.

By Michele Theil

Michele Theil is a freelance journalist based in London, specialising in investigative journalism and pieces relating to the LGBT+ community, women, race and culture – and their intersections. She is a bisexual woman of colour, and passionate about social justice, diversity, inclusion, writing, reading and swimming. Read her other work at micheletheil.com.

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