Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Group Leader Experience - by Sam Morley

Sam Morley, Sheffield 2015 Group Leader
Our 2015 Sheffield Group Leader Sam has written a blog for us about his experiences of being a Group Leader for us. If you feel inspired and would like to apply to become a Group Leader for us at your University please have a look at the information pack here.

Whilst on my year out in Japan, I saw the team leader role with Dig Deep on a ‘Freshers’ Facebook page for Sheffield University and immediately applied. The chance to meet a group of students at my new University, fundraise together and then have the experience of a lifetime climbing Kilimanjaro the following summer felt too good to miss out on. I had a bit of fundraising experience already and thought a leadership role would be a good challenge for me whilst studying Architecture. Dig Deep called me up shortly after and had a quick interview on the phone. It was only during the interview I actually realised that team leaders get to travel for free! I was prepared for rejection and thought I’d just sign up to join the team anyway… but then Jo woke me up one morning with a phone call welcoming me aboard.

I had a little success dance and then plastered the news over social media. Immediately, the Internet responded and I had several signups, before even starting University! Once I was in Sheffield, I pushed myself to go to as many socials, sports clubs and events as possible to meet new people; I handed out leaflets and emailed societies. I became known as ‘Kilimanjaro Sam’ and before I knew it, everyone I met had already heard about the trip and the numbers were tumbling in. Even some of my best friends signed up, making the whole experience very easy and enjoyable.

Once we had a team together, we started to meet up for drinks and nights out – it was nice to have a group of people from all different subjects and ages. After a few fundraising events together I began to know most of the group fairly well. A bunch of us got involved in the bungee jump and the Snowdon trip, which was great for meeting fundraisers from other Universities, some of whom we’d be climbing Kili with. As a team leader, fundraising was mostly about inspiring others with ideas and motivation, as well as offering a helping hand wherever possible. It’s a real chance to be creative and great for building up leadership and organisational skills, not to mention a huge splash of colour on your CV.

Some Sheffield Fundraisers at the Christmas market
There’s a great deal of satisfaction in watching your team’s total grow and grow through the tens of thousands of pounds. Eventually, our Sheffield team romped home with over £50K for Dig Deep and we’re now all poised for our African adventure together! After our 6-day trek to the roof of Africa, we’ll have 10 days to relax and soak up the Tanzanian culture. Most of us will be going on a Safari (another must-do in life) and then explore the romantic sandy beaches of Zanzibar with the chance to swim with dolphins, go on boat trips and explore caves. I never thought I’d be planning my third trip to the continent aged 19 but it truly is the land of hidden wonders and the home of all my best (and most bizarre) memories.

At time of writing, I have not yet climbed Kilimanjaro, but I can only tell you from all the people I have spoken to and PowerPoints and videos I have seen that it will stay in your mind forever. That’s the kind of experience University is all about… and if the highest free-standing mountain in the world isn’t already on your bucket list, it should be.

Apply to become a Group Leader at your University by visiting this link.

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