Jailbreak 2020

Shortly after reading week, two of my friends and I heard about Livewire’s charity event; Jailbreak 2020! The goal was to get as far away from UEA in 36 hours, whilst spending none of our money. There were also various challenges in place, to gain points that could put you in the lead. Challenges included things like taking a photo in Wetherspoons or doing a TikTok next to a famous landmark. We figured it would be a great experience to do in our first year at University. The three of us got together, quickly came up with the name The Lost Girls, and set up our page in order to raise money for The Big C, Norfolk’s cancer charity. We were informed that the theme this year was jungle explorers, so we also got some silly explorer hats that we wore for the entire event. One in our team, Beth, had been able to email the Irish company Guinness and had been given two tickets for the brewery tour. This meant we were able to raffle the tickets off and raise some money for our travels, before we even set off.

There were five teams in total; 3 Jars of Lager, The Poorclaimers, Wilderness Explorers, Goal: New Zealand, and us. We set off at 12am on Friday 13th March, after an awesome performance by the UEA Angels dance team. We headed to the train station, with signs and charity buckets in hand. We raised money on the way, and we even received free soup from Norwich Cathedral. The ticket office managed to get us discounted tickets to Stamford, so we were on our way North. We even ran into another team whilst there. When in Stamford, however, we received a phone call from the lovely Livewire team, saying that due to Coronavirus we were being cut short to midnight. This meant that we only had a few more hours to get as far North as we could. From Stamford, we hitchhiked to Newark, and then raised enough money to make it to Newcastle by midnight. This meant that we had travelled the furthest, but we were not done yet. 

The following morning, new rules had been laid out. It was now a race back to UEA, with the cut off being midnight. We were also made aware that we should see how far we could get without spending any money AT ALL. So, we did exactly that. We hitchhiked all the way from Newcastle to Peterborough. We hoped from Newcastle to the A1, then onto Nottingham, and then to Grantham before finally getting a lift to Peterborough. Then, out of pure luck, we got on the train for free to Norwich and a subsequent taxi paid for to the University. This meant, with 5 minutes to midnight, we made it back to Livewire without spending a penny.

We were officially the winners! The teams all together raised over £1,100 in just one weekend for The Big C, which is an incredible act of kindness. We had such an amazing time taking part, and we were able to experience things that we may have otherwise never tried. We would recommend it to anyone as it is such a good way to raise money and awareness, whilst having some healthy competition too.

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Steph Heydon

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July 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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