The University of Sussex’s Library Square turned into a fluffy battlefield last Monday afternoon as a 40-person pillow fight took place in aid of RAG week.

At 2pm, a whistle was the signal for people from all corners of the square to suddenly produce pillows and sprint into the centre for a minute of cushiony chaos, eagerly watched by passers-by.

The event was described by the organisers as a ‘flashmob’ – something their Facebook group defined as “when a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse” (in case, like me, you hadn’t met that term before).

It was clear at the end that those that took part had enjoyed the “unusual action” – with one pillow-fighting participant expressing how she “felt like a ninja… but a soft, cuddly one” during combat.

One particularly pleased battler met me after the final whistle had blown – main organiser Charlie Rowen, also known on the Facebook group site as Chief Flashmobber. She said she was delighted with the turnout, especially considering it had all spread by word-of-mouth, and felt that the event had successfully raised awareness of the upcoming RAG week. The charity event, which runs until 31 January, is run by the university’s Raising and Giving society, and aims to fundraise for various important charities.

These include Sparks, a children’s charity supporting research into medical cures, and the Rigul Trust, which provides welfare and medical help in some of the poorest areas of Tibet and India.

This is just one of the many events advertised on their Facebook page “Refreshers 2010 in association with RAG Week”, all in the name of raising money and awareness.

Others in the week include martial arts sessions, beach parties, musical theatre workshops and that wonderfully British bargain-fest – the car boot sale.

Charlie also mentioned that she hoped to organise another flashmob in the near future, after her success both with this one and an Micahel Jackson-themed dance-a-thon that took place on Brighton Pier last November.

She also mentioned the possibility of a tea-related flashmob for Fair Trade Fortnight at the end of February – so do watch this space if you have an affliction for assembling suddenly in a public place, performing an unusual action and then quickly dispersing (I must confess, it’s one of my favourite definitions ever!).

Whatever the next one is, though, it will definitely have to be something special to have one up on Monday’s thoroughly-enjoyed minute of passionate pillow fun,

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