One of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s newest societies hosted its inaugural charity ball at Leicester’s historic Guildhall last week.
De Montfort University (DMU) Wiccans and Neo Pagans played host to a witches-themed evening of entertainment, featuring a full buffet, auction and a performance from members of the DMU Music Society, all to raise money for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Society co-founder Emma Woolward helped organise ‘The Witches Ball’ and said: “The event went really well and there was a lot of planning running up to it.
“On the night, we raised £400, and then in the build up to it there was another £150, so we’ve got £550 to give to charity.”
The society chose the charity as they wanted to combine their dual interests of doing something for a local charity and a cause that is linked to Paganism, too.
Emma, a final-year Media Production student, said: “They try and conserve natural areas around Leicestershire and Rutland, and animal habitats and wildlife; they’ll build things for them.
“Within cities, it’s all built up and habitats get destroyed, so they try and bring them back and make new ones, or preserve the ones that are already there.
“Because the society is Wiccan and Neo Pagan, it’s a very nature based society and religion.
“Pagans, in general, like working with the earth and nature, so that was important to us, but it was also important to do something local, so people in Leicester can see the benefits of it.”
Emma said that the society hopes to make the ball – attended by Ian Vernon, leader of the Pagan Federation – an annual event and, whilst she leaves DMU this year, hopes to see the brand new society continue next year to provide a meeting place for those students of the Pagan religion.
She added: “There aren’t many societies like this; I think I’ve heard of one in Wales. There are a lot of other religious societies, but not Pagan.
“I thought there would be one coming to university, and I was looking forward to that because at home, practising, you’re kind of on your own, and the only reason that I found people interested in it was because of starting the society.
“If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have met all of the people we are really close friends with now.
“I just hope they’ll be able to offer a place for people that want to study Paganism or worship because it can be quite a lonely religion if you don’t know any other people. I hope it carries on.”
You can find out more about DMU Wiccans and Neo Pagans on their page here. You can also find them on Facebook here.
Image Credit: 3Lens Photography