TWO university workers have raised thousands of pounds after living off rations of rice and lentils for a week.

Amy Sheridan and Jay James, who both work at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, undertook the challenge.

For seven days they lived off the same food rations as a Syrian refugee in a camp in Jordan.

It included rice and small amounts of lentils, chickpeas, flour and oil, as well as one can of kidney beans and a tin of sardines.

Their meagre rations were hard on them physically and mentally, but were profitable in raising funds to support refugees.

Together the pair raised more than £7,000.

The money will help to provide emergency food, hygiene kits and life-saving support.

The pair were joined by Amy’s sister and her husband to fundraise as a team, meaning they could earn extra rewards like shared spices and a small amount of milk or vegetables - just as refugees in the camps could share among their families.

Amy said “It is a really eye-opening week, and makes you think about how much we eat in a week compared to what is actually necessary to survive on.

“Before the war in their country, these people lived lives much like ours - good jobs, a decent roof over their heads.


“Now they are living in tent cities of up to 40,000 people depending on charity to live, some of them for 15 years and more, just waiting to go home.

“Many have been born into it. In different circumstances, that could be any one of us”.

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Jay added: “This week has been tough, but so worth it to feel a tiny bit what a refugee might be feeling or going through.

“I’m amazed by the money we’ve raised and happy we can help out that way.

“I’m happy today is my last day, but sad that I can just stop eating these rations and the refugees can’t.”

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