Belfast Telegraph

Fund-raising students James Rodgers and Emma-Jane Faulkner reach Cologne in 37-hour dash without cash

By Amanda Ferguson

Students can sometimes be renowned for coming up with great excuses to stay well away from class.

But two intrepid geography students had charity in mind when they skipped Belfast to get as far from Queen's University as possible.

James Rodgers (20) and Emma-Jane Faulkner (19) are making their way back to Belfast from Germany after raising hundreds of pounds for charity as part of a Students' Union jailbreak.

They were tasked with getting as far from QUB as possible without spending any of their own money over the 37-hour challenge. Their journey began in Belfast at 10am on Saturday morning and they managed to travel 850 miles from home via Dublin, London, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, before finishing up in Cologne, Germany.

So far they have raised more than £700 for a range of QUB Rag Week charities including Leukemia & Lymphoma NI, Aware Defeat Depression, SOS Bus NI and Autism NI.

Speaking from Germany, James and Emma-Jane, from Dorset and Northampton respectively, told the Belfast Telegraph the kindness of strangers was overwhelming.

James said: "We have had a fantastic time.

"We have raised over £600 on the Justgiving website and in our bucket we have over 100 pounds and euro and there is more money pledged.

"If the public can support us further, we would really appreciate it."

The duo walked from Queen's to Boucher Road and got a lift by car to Dublin Airport.

They flew from Dublin to Gatwick Airport and then reached Calais via London Victoria and the Euro Tunnel. It was then onwards by bus to Cologne via Brussels. The cost of their tickets were covered by donations from friends, family and online supporters.

Emma-Jane said: "We have had so much fun. Everyone has been so supportive, especially at Dublin Airport, people were putting money in our bucket. It has been really nice and when times have been tough and we have been stressed, people supporting us made us realise 'we can do this'."

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