Monday, 25 October 2010

If you were in central London on Friday....

You may well have seen one or more of the 200 Raggies who were collecting for Breast Cancer Campaign at tube and train stations. The Campaign Megaraid is one of the highlights of Breast Cancer Awareness month and Raggies come from far and wide to take part. It is an interesting logistics operation and our conference room becomes the control room for the day with a spreadsheet projected onto the wall with running totals for each collector.

Most of us also down tools and help out – the more robust ones hiking around with backpacks to unload the buckets and bring them back. The control room takes calls from the Raggies when their buckets become too heavy to hold and someone is despatched to go and empty the bucket and bring the load back to base.

I love counting the money and spend most of Friday and some of Monday operating one of the coin machines counting and bagging the money. I can understand that we end up with a bucket full of foreign coins but what really puzzles me is the coins which are no longer legal tender. One bucket I counted had nine old ten pence pieces – they haven’t been legal tender for some time – is someone walking around with these in their pocket so that they can dump them in a collecting tin one day? There were also defunct foreign coins – German marks and French francs. Why are these in your pocket?

But there were notes as well and even a £50 note which was really exciting: it is such a great day and the Raggies and staff work so hard with little sleep on Thursday and Friday nights. I am afraid I wimped out at about 8.30 on Friday night. We count until all the money is counted because they want to know exactly how much has been raised by each collector, each university and in total – over £56,000 this year – a record.

For the uninitiated, universities have their “Raising and Giving” committees and students who take part are Raggies!

Thanks to all the Raggies and other volunteers, especially the team from Barclays (they normally never see real money.......) and also Pret a Manger for donating sandwiches on Thursday night to feed everyone!

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