During the course of February, four University of York students, Avee Dhandwar, Ben Smith, Tom Cadman and Dan Proud (or ‘ABCD’), carried out some daring, gruelling and cautiously embarrassing challenges, in aid of four charities, York Mind, SASH, Shelterbox and Dementia UK.
The quartet’s challenges included dying their hair with semi-permanent dye, running a Mankini Mile around campus and climbing the three peaks of Yorkshire on the final weekend of February. Their first task was to dye their hair in their respective charity colours. Avee and Ben went green for Shelterbox and SASH, Tom went blue for York Mind and Dan went neon pink for Dementia UK. This was probably the task involving the greatest personal risk, with Valentine’s Day, family birthdays and the normal seminars and lectures, all falling in February. This task was certainly not something for the faint-hearted.
Their next task was an ice bath where each student submerged themselves in the icy depths and, with over 50 bags of ice being used, the group did not mess around. This was possibly to foreshadow the freezing temperatures that beset the UK last week with the arrival of snowmageddon or ‘the beast from the east’.
The third challenge was the ‘Mankini Mile’ which saw each student run in either a mankini or a thong around the Hes West campus. This generated a lot of bemused and confused emotions from onlookers on campus while hysteria online gained them a lot more attention, helping to push the total amount raised past £1000. This was further helped by another selfless publicity stunt where in each student dressed in a morphsuit, again in their respective charity colour, and paraded around the University library to gather awareness of the great causes they were raising money for.
In the penultimate task that the four completed came one of the most physically enduring: a leg wax. The waxing procedure produced some horrendous noises and what can only be described as excruciating pain, as full carpets of hair were ripped from the four boys legs, demonstrating their desire to see how far their money could go.
Though one of their final tasks, the walking of the Yorkshire three peaks, was cut short by a lack of sunlight, the quartet nevertheless went further expected and actually walked further than they would have done if they had climbed the last mountain, emphasising yet again their selfless behaviour. The timing of the hikes turned out to be just in time before ‘the beast from the east’ turned the UK into a winter wonderland last week. This has forced them to postpone their final task, a ‘naughty’ car wash, which a lot of people who are following the boys publicity stunts in aid of charity may be eagerly anticipating.
The tasks were organised on their Facebook page, where users could vote for which task they would rather see the boys perform. Each event was then streamed live on Facebook, racking up numerous likes, comments and responses, which will be there for the foreseeable future if you want to have a look at how the boys got on.
The group have raised a total of £1384.75 to date, smashing their original target of £500, which will be equally distributed between the four charities that each has chosen. The ‘naughty’ car wash, which is also likely to stir up more attention and increase the amount raised, especially if the boys don the mankinis once again.Regardless of how much the boys raise a positive effort has been made for students who are all third year who, unlike their peers, are focusing on social action rather than their dissertations.