Manchester Metropolitan University

Creative students raising over £10,000 for leukaemia charities

University course inspires unique fundraising event

The Bleu Panda team (left to right) Fran Coulter, Seb Hardwick, John Paul Mackey, Manon Boucheny, Mollie McDermott and Amber Wilkins

The Bleu Panda team (left to right) Fran Coulter, Seb Hardwick, John Paul Mackey, Manon Boucheny, Mollie McDermott and Amber Wilkins

A group of inspirational students are hoping to raise more than £10,000 for charity by organising and managing a fundraising event as part of their degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Fundbox charity event will take place this Saturday (March 30) at Red House Farm in Altrincham and will see over 200 people come together to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Anthony Nolan register.

The event will feature live DJs, bands and a charity fire walk, where attendees who raise £150 in donations have the chance to brave a bare-footed walk across hot coals.

Tasked with creating and running a live event as part of their Events Management course, the group of six second-year students, who gave themselves the team name Bleu Panda, were inspired by the story of the Hunt family who are friends of the students’ tutor. Their son Tom was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2018 and has been supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust.

After speaking to the Hunts, the team – comprising Amber Wilkins, Mollie McDermott, Seb Hardwick, Manon Boucheny, Fran Coulter and John Paul Mackey - went about creating the event and were set a £10,000 fundraising target by their tutor and the family.

Team member Amber Wilkins said: “Fundbox is a family fun charity event with entertainment ranging from live music and a silent auction to a charity fire walk and kids activities.

“It is all for a great cause and any money or awareness that is raised is a bonus for the charities.

“We have asked for sponsorships from various companies which has been a big factor as to why we have been able to put on this event and without them we simply would not have been able to do it.”

It is hoped over £10,000 will be raised for charity through the Fundbox event

Supporting charities

From organising separate fundraising events, such as a student night in Withington which raised over £500, to asking suppliers and businesses for donations, the Bleu Panda team have already gained a huge amount of support for their event.

Wilkins added: “As well as sponsorships, we have also been lucky enough to receive a massive range of raffle and auction prizes from signed footballs and shirts to week long stays in luxury accommodations in Spain, Anglesey and Cheshire.

“Our university course has helped us massively with putting on the event, from teaching us how to go about setting up a business bank account to how write an event manual.

“Each week we have been taught different aspects which we will need to include in our event to make it as successful as possible.”

Managing live events

Manchester Metropolitan’s BA (Hons) Events Management degree allows students to gain hands-on experience of managing live events. The course is ranked in the top 10 events management degrees in the UK by the Guardian University League Table 2018.

Karen Radcliffe, Senior Lecturer in Events Management at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “It is fantastic to see the difference that our students are making to the charities we work with whilst completing their course. Our Events Management programme has seen students raise in excess of £100,000 for charity over the last 10 years.

“We are excited to see the team’s hard work come to fruition at their Fundbox event and to see what our amazing students across the programme have done to raise awareness and money for the 24 organisations and charities they have all worked so hard for this year.”  

To find out more about the University’s BA (Hons) Events Management course, visit

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