One of the most important lessons I have learnt, as I imagine many others have too from this pandemic, is the value of offering up our time to help others. Cher-ity Corner is a weekly column that highlights local Oxford charities that students can volunteer with and make a difference.
I spoke to Casey Taylor, who is the Merchandise Officer for Oxford Pink Week. Pink Week is a week of events that raises awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Charities. We discussed opportunities that are on offer for current students and lots about what they do. Find out how you can get involved and more about their amazing work!
What’s Oxford Pink Week?
Pink Week is a week of events that is aimed at raising funds and awareness for various Breast Cancer charities. For this year, 2021, the charities were: Coppafeel, Walk the Walk, The Leanne Pero Foundation, Breast Cancer Now and Sakoon through Cancer.
Pink Week was established because of inspiration by activism of the late Dina Rabinovitch, a journalist and writer who unfortunately lost her life to the disease but wrote widely and publicly about to create awareness and bring about change. As a national event, Pink Week ran for the first time in 2011 and has been running at the University of Oxford since 2016.
“Our key mission is to get people talking about breast cancer, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. By normalising the conversations about breast cancer, we can encourage people to check themselves and potentially save lives if abnormalities are caught quickly.”
Just one conversation can trigger a lifesaving action, and its only through events such as Pink Week that raise awareness, that the disease can be stopped in its tracks.
This year, Pink Week Oxford hosted various events such as a 10k walk, karaoke night and 3 ‘Pink Night’s,’ an evening of live music, drinks, and fun! There was also collaborative work with various societies such as LGBTQ+ society, OUCA, Oxford Dance Society and OxFemSoc to introduce a fundraising element into their own events.
Despite the evident success of this year’s Pink Week, COVID-19 had impacted it significantly. As a committee, the decision was made to move Pink Week from its usual place in Hilary Term to 3rd week Trinity as many people were at home and there was an inability to host any in-person events. This enabled the hosting of the Pink Night, which allowed for a significant proportion of total profits to be raised. However, the pandemic also led to an emphasis being placed on online presence, resulting a podcast being created! This was a great addition to the already great ongoings and so there’s also the possibility for something good on the flip side of things.
How can students get involved?
Pink Week would be unable to run if it was not for the magnificent work of the committee that organises everything. This year, the committee consisted of: President, College Reps Officer, Treasurer, Publicity Officer, Digital Designer, Events Officer, and a Merchandise Officer. There were also reps from different colleges who were tasked with fundraising for their own JCR as well as helping to run some of the events.
Committee applications are currently open for next year, so if you want to help change lives, want to get involved in charity work at Uni, you can apply here until the 12th June:
Why should students get involved?
“Being part of something like Pink Week is extremely rewarding, and it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed throwing myself into this year. Attending Pink Night especially, finally seeing people in a room together having a good time in aid of such a good cause, really made all of the hard work worth it.”
The money that is raised over the course of Pink Week goes a long way in helping in the mission of tackling breast cancer.
“I really cannot encourage enough anyone who’s thinking of getting involved with Pink Week next year.”
Want to get involved?
You can follow and contact Pink Week through the following:
Instagram: oxpinkweek, (or feel free to message Casey directly @caseytaylorx)