The chairman of RGU:RAG (Raising and Giving), the fundraising arm of Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Students' Union, is aiming to raise thousands of pounds in his last act as chair.
Second year nursing student, Marty McGouran, (30), will pound the pavements in Edinburgh as he is set to take part in the capital’s Marathon on Sunday, May 29 to raise money for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Croatia.
Marty said: “I spent a month in Croatia through the European Voluntary Service which offers long-term volunteering experiences abroad.
“I was placed in Gvozd where tensions run high between Croatian and Serbian residents because of the Croatian war of independence in the 1990s.
“I worked in the local NGOs Community Centre called The Suncokret (Croatian for Sunflower) Centre for Community Development and Kids Earth Fund Croatia, which is run by Maja and Pedrag who have devoted their time to improving the lives of disadvantaged children in the local post-war community.”
The Suncokret Centre was established in response to the psychosocial needs of a post-war rural and isolated community, addressing negative psychological, social and cultural consequences of the social upheavals in the region, promoting social inclusion and improving quality of life.
Marty continues: “I want to support them as they do such great work with the children. They treat the children like their own, nurturing many from a young age and providing financial support to allow them to take part in educational after-school programmes.
“While I was there they treated me like family and I consider them friends for life. I have been to visit twice and plan to go back this summer.”
“The Centre’s existence depends very much on grants and contributions from volunteers so I hope I am able to reach my fundraising target to help it continue to make a difference.”
Marty aims to raise £1,000 for the charity and is determined for the marathon, which he has been training for while juggling his work and studies.
He said: “The training is going well and I recently ran the Inverurie Half Marathon in preparation. I’m on track with the training plan.”
This will be Marty’s last act as RGU:RAG chairman after taking over in September 2015 for the academic year. Since then more than £55,000 has been raised for good causes under his leadership.
Marty said: “I got involved with RGU:RAG as I had heard some amazing stories about their work and all that it has achieved over the years. I wanted to be part of it.
“I am delighted and proud of the amount of money that has been raised. I’m so grateful to everyone that has given so generously to the great causes we support.
“The role of RGU:RAG chairman has been the experience of a lifetime. I will look back with many fond memories.”