What is Bummit?
Bummit is a charity hitchhiking society that has been independently run & managed by students from the University of Sheffield since 2003. We are part of the Sheffield RAG (Raising & Giving) society, which falls under the jurisdiction of the University of Sheffield's Students Union. Sheffield RAG is committed to raising funds and offering support to local charities.
We are now the world's largest student organised hitch-hiking group, with up to 400 students from the University of Sheffield participating at any one time. We currently run two main events per year, with the aim of getting to a pre-determined location within a given time limit.
A Brief History
It all began 14 years ago...
Established in 2003, it started with a few adventurous students from Sheffield Rag coming up with an idea to attempt to hitchhike to Bognor Regis as a new way to raise money for Sheffield RAG. With hitchhiking a rarity in the modern age, it would be an exciting challenge to travel over 200 miles without spending a penny. The event was a success and so the following year they set their sights much higher, Budapest! After another highly successful hitch, Bummit became a week long event with an end destination over 1200 miles away. Last year, for the Big Bummit event we travelled to Riga, Latvia with Wroclaw, Poland as our half-way stop!
Bummit began as a yearly event up until 2009 when the spirit of the original event to Bognor Regis was brought back as an event called 'Baby Bummit'. Baby Bummit involves attempting to hitchhike to pre-determined location within Great Britain in one day.
One of the most common questions that we hear (after what are you doing?!?) is 'Why are you called Bummit?'
Verb - to bum
- (transitive, colloquial) To ask someone to give one (something) for free; to beg for something.
- e.g. "Can I bum a lift to the next service station?"
Early RAG posters refer to the first big event as 'Bum it to Budapest'. After the hitchhike broke away and became its own society, the name was shortened and eventually became 'Bummit'. Obscure origins, but the name is great. Completely unique and identifiable. And, after twelve years, the name has become familiar to the people of Sheffield and people around Europe alike, making it easier to raise that sponsorship and to blag lifts from bored truck drivers, who may even regale you with tales of meeting bummiteers from the past!
Beg, Borrow, DON'T Steal...
People taking part in the events are not restricted to hitchhiking for the entire distance, the use of public transport is permitted. The fee of using public transport can often be waived by showing, for example, a train conductor or bus driver the letter printed in the Bummit Bible, a booklet given to each participant. This handy tome contains safety information, contact details of the British embassies in most European countries, and a letter from the students union, as well as good hitching spots, handy phrases and fun things to pass the time.
How Do I Get Involved?
Each academic year we have two great events, which you have the opportunity to participate in. Baby Bummit & Big Bummit. Baby Bummit is a smaller event involving 200 students who attempt to hitchhike to a location in Great Britain. Once there, we have a meal and night out to celebrate. Big Bummit is much larger and involves 400 students exploring all different areas of Europe in an attempt to make it to a halfway point and and end destination over a period of at least a week. Again, there is a meal and two nights out to celebrate!
Get involved simply by buying a ticket for one of these events; when you've done this, you'll get regular emails and updates from us about how to go about raising the money, and we take care of the rest!
Participating in Baby Bummit GUARANTEES you a place on Big Bummit.
To sign up for this exciting event, you will need to purchase a ticket from the box office in the union. Make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment, as this event is famous for attracting big queues and selling out on the day. You can then go online to fill out the registration form. You are required to raise a minimum of £75 sponsorship to support Sheffield RAG's worthy causes. 85% of the money raised goes to local charities in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, with the remaining 15% supporting charities further afield.
Baby Bummit this year will happen on the 8th of November to Edinburgh!
Bummit's main event in 2018 is Big Bummit to Split Croatia via a mysterious halway point!