With the rise in mental health issues, gaps in academic attainment, poor social mobility, and the fact that young people are leaving school ill- prepared for work, it is crucial that we create big change in how we unlock the full potential of all
our young people. The future may be theirs but it is our responsibility, today, to rethink how we support them. Only in that way will we ensure that in the future everyone thrives.
These words – from Holly Branson, Founder of Big Change – encapsulate why we’re Striving.
Today marks the start of Virgin STRIVE Challenge 2018, seeing over 200 strivers cross Europe raising money for Big Change to support up to 10 new projects rethinking how we support young people to thrive in life, not just in exams.
The challengestarts in southern Sardinia and will see Sir Richard Branson, Sam Branson and STRIVE Director Noah Devereux – alongside over 200 Strivers – cycle, sea kayak, hike and climb their way across Europe, to the summit of Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in western Europe). Over the course of the challenge the Core Team will ascend 33,872m – nearly 4 times the height of Everest – from sea level. The team will be striving for up to 10 hours a day for 33 days.
This year’s STRIVE is the 5th challenge since 2014. Since their inception, these events will have brought together around 700 strivers, raised nearly £5 million and supported more than 20 game-changing projects through Big Change. Past projects given early stage support by Strive (like Frontline, Voice 21 and NCS) have gone on to receive millions in government and other funding – scaling nationally, influencing policy and changing the way things are done.
We have showed that by backing bold ideas with amazing leaders at an early stage, and helping them prove the power of doing things differently, you really can drive big change. This year our focus areas are: rethinking support for parents and early years, for teachers and for kids excluded from school.
In the past STRIVE has raised money to support UK projects and demonstrate a different way of doing charity. This year we are partnering with others who share our mission and expanding our reach to look at global pioneers reimagining education and support for the next generation.
STRIVE is also a real personal challenge for the many of the people taking part and shows what we can achieve when we all come together with a common purpose.
In the words of Sam Branson, co-founder of STRIVE, “Strive symbolises the ability we all have within ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, overcome our fears and show that we can achieve what, we would ordinarily have thought impossible. Through these epic adventures 100s of Strivers come together, challenging themselves under extreme circumstances, to the raise money for Big Change to support young people who face challenges every day of their lives”