RAG (Raising and Giving), the main fundraising body at Leeds University Union, raised £17,000 through library fines to help support local charities.

The money was raised following an agreement with The University to donate all the late fines paid during RAG week to their Community Fund. University libraries ordinarily collect an average of £6,000 per week in fines, but this figure was nearly tripled to over £17,000 thanks to RAG encouraging thousands of students to pay off their fines during the allotted week.

This year’s Community Fund is expected to be over £20,000, which will be paid out in £500, £1,000 and £1,500 grants to local charities and community projects. The fund is allocated specifically for smaller organisations, whose annual turnover is less than £150,000.

“We are delighted that the University has donated paid library fines to our Community Fund”, said Antony Haddley, RAG’s Media Officer. “In 2011, a total of £5,000 in grants was donated to 19 local, one national and three international charities, and we’re really excited at the prospect of supporting even more causes thanks to the University’s generous support.”

Ben Fisher, Leeds University Union’s Community Officer commented: “The Community Fund is a perfect example of how active, passionate students can make a big difference to groups in the local community.”

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