A PARAMEDIC student is giving up her love for food for a week to raise awareness for refugees.

Sophie Giltinan, who is currently studying Paramedic Science at Oxford Brookes University, will be living off the same rations as a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan.

The 21-year-old from Bristol, who lives in Cowley, will be doing a fundraising initiative called the Ration Challenge where she will only eat a small amount of food each day.

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It is part of an effort to raise money and awareness of how refugees live around the world.

Miss Giltinan has already received her package of ingredients which include, rice, lentils, flour, chickpeas, beans, fish and oil.

She will only be allowed to drink water.


She said: “When I received the rations I would be living on, I was shocked to say the least.

"It is devastating to think that people live on these rations, day in and day out, when I think nothing of popping to the supermarket.

“The hardest part for me will be getting through my ambulance shifts for South Central Ambulance Service on so little food, and not being tempted by fast food on the way home.”

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Miss Giltinan decided to do the challenge because, she said, 'we take our lives for granted'.

She will do the challenge during Refugee Week, from June 16 to June 23, and is raising money through sponsors for Concern Worldwide UK, a charity that supports refugees in Syria, Turkey and Jordan.

The money will provide refugees with food, medicine and education.


She said: “As well as being forced to leave their homes due to conflict, refugees in camps have also often lost family members, friends and possessions. After all this has happened, they are only provided with very minimal rations.

“I’m hoping that I will be raising awareness and promoting a better understanding of the plight of refugees.”

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Since the Ration Challenge started in June 2014, 64,753 people have raised more than £5 million.

So far in the UK this year, £112,964 has been raised which the charity says is enough to provide food for 733 refugees for a whole year.

Miss Giltinan has managed to raise £42.40 so far through sponsors and aims to raise £100.

She said her family support her decision to do the challenge.


She said: “My mum is a bit nervous for me, because she knows I eat more when I am on placement but she’s really supportive and was the first person to donate.”

Because the food lacks flavour, Miss Giltinan will be spicing it up which she hopes will make her week more bearable.

She said: “The food is all quite bland but because I’ve sponsored myself I’m allowed to add a spice, so I’m going to add chilli to give everything a bit more flavour.

“Concern have put together a few recipes made by refugees that are quite creative, and so I am hoping to use some of those to add a bit more variety.”

Miss Giltinan can earn rewards as she does the challenge such as one teabag every time she asks five or more people via email for sponsorship.

See my.rationchallenge.org.uk/sophiegiltinan