‘Formally Lost’ a success despite lost participants

News Editor

The Durham University Charity Committee’s ‘Formally Lost’ took place at the weekend, leaving two participants stranded in Carlisle.

Students taking part in the event, in aid of the charity Young Minds, were driven 2 hours out of Durham by coach on Sunday morning and had to get back to Durham in time for a formal dinner in Castle.

In teams of 2 or more, dressed in full black tie, the first group back officially won but teams were also encouraged to take their time and complete challenges along the way.

Zack Emmett and Josh Dowley found themselves stranded in Carlisle, 76 miles from Durham.

One team found it harder than others to complete the challenge, that last year raised £2,135 for the charity Cool Earth.

Zack Emmett and Josh Dowley found themselves stranded in Carlisle, 76 miles from Durham. With their phone batteries low and unable to get transport or accommodation late at night, they had to resort to a friend posting on ‘Overheard at Durham Uni’ in a bid to find help.

The pair were originally dropped off in Preston before hitchhiking to Lancaster University. After having no luck at a near-by motorway junction they took a train to Carlisle.

Zack Emmett told Palatinate: “We thought we were being clever going north to then head east rather than heading north then west, which everyone else took.

‘We got to Carlisle around 9pm and wandered to a pub where we spent the next hour and a half having pints and making signs. We got picked up by a couple but they were not going back to Newcastle, instead we got dropped off at the station, by this time it was past midnight. In the car we decided to call Flavia (the friend that posted for the group).

We woke up at 5.50am to get the first train back to Durham in our black tie and Josh still managed to make his 9am

The post at 10.34pm amassed 98 reactions before the boys eventually found somewhere to sleep in the early morning.

“At around 12.30pm we wandered to a Ibis hotel and found a bed. We woke up at 5.50am to get the first train back to Durham in our black tie and Josh still managed to make his 9am”.

Zack and Josh, before they found themselves in Carlisle

Despite their ordeal, Zack and Josh have currently raised £145 and are still taking donation on their fundraising page here.

Jamima Westermann, another student who took part in Formally Lost told Palatinate: “The one thing that really amazed us throughout the trip was how much people were willing to help, and how much they wanted to.

“Our first ride was with a man and his granddaughter who went 60 miles out of their way to get us to Harrogate to give us the best chance they could of getting us back to Durham. From there we had the most incredibly heart-warming experience when the conductor on Northern Rail gave us a free trip up to York, on the one condition we got a photo with him and our signs.

“We had a brief chat with him on the train telling him all about what we were up to, and we all teared up a little when he made an announcement on the train telling everyone about what we were doing and all about our fundraiser, he even got in touch with the organisers the next day to see how he could donate.

“Of course the experience, the dinner and the castle formal was incredible, but what really made it so memorable for us was the kindness and generosity of everyone we met along the way”.

Featured Image: Jamima Westermann

1st Image: Zack Emmett

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