The Varsity Series between Bristol's two universities is one of the biggest multi-sporting events in the South West. For the second year running, 1625ip were the chosen charity voted for by students from both Bristol University and the University of the West of England (UWE). Funds were raised by both the Students' Union at UWE
and Bristol University Students' Union
from ticket sales for Varsity matches and bucket collections carried out by UWE RAG volunteers at Varsity events, adding up to an amazing £5064.92. The money will go towards 1625ip's work with young people who have been faced with homelessness, providing them with the support and opportunities they need to reboot their lives.
As well as benefiting from the funds raised throughout the series, some of our young people took part in a pre-Varsity futsal competition with student teams and were also invited to attend Varsity matches as an opportunity to engage with university life first-hand. For our Independent People Football Club (IPFC) the futsal tournament provided a chance to put their skills and teamwork to the test in a welcoming community environment.
1625ip young people taking part in the pre-Varsity futsal tournament
IPFC is run in partnership with the University of Bristol sports department, with students volunteering as facilitators. The team, who already meet regularly once a week, have now been able to join a Monday night league using Varsity funding. Joining the league has helped to really make these young people feel part of the local community, meeting new people in and outside of the team.
IPFC member Ian said:
Members of IPFC, along with regular volunteer coaches Robbie Fox and Hugh Kirby and 1625ip Participation Worker Duane McDonald, holding the Varsity cheque
"Being in the league is good, we get to play matches and show what we've done, what we've learnt. We have a few regulars and then new people joining as well. It helped me to meet people when I first moved here."
Thomas Dunn, 1625ip Volunteering Coordinator, said:
"Beyond the obvious benefits to physical and mental health from taking part in regular sports, IPFC also provides an oppportunity for young people to build their confidence and team skills, giving them a sense of purpose, belonging and cameraderie. Joining the league has helped develop this project further.
The project continues to bring positive outcomes for the communty including providing a safe and social space for our UASC (Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children) clients. We are now looking to build on the strong relationships formed with both universities to expand our sports offer for young people in the future, particularly working to get more young women involved in sport."
A huge thank you to the Bristol University Students' Union and the Students' Union at UWE, the students who chose 1625ip as Varsity charity for the last two years and to everyone who supported us throughout the series. While Bristol University may have won the coveted Blue Glass trophy this year, the real winners were the young people who have benefited from the funds raised and the continuing opportunities provided through our close relationship with both Universities and Students' Unions.
1625 Independent People is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation and relies on donations and support from the public and private sector. Help us maintain this crucial service for young people - there are many ways to get involved. Find out more about supporting us
Tia Psihogios,1625ip Funding and Communication Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0117 317 8800