UK universities and colleges are invited to unite with us and hold their own inclusive BRIT Challenge to improve mental health and fitness, all whilst raising funds for BRIT and our charity partners. This collectively powerful approach is integral to our work to support young adult mental health in the short, medium and long-term. To enable us to deliver inspiration and encouragement to young adults who take part in their university or college BRIT Challenge, we are thrilled that British Sporting Icons including Paralympians, Olympians and Sporting Figures are joining us as BRIT Ambassadors. 

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) supports young adult mental health in the UK through our annual BRIT Challenges.  

BRIT 2021



By inviting every UK university and college to encourage all their students and staff to participate, we aim to support young adult mental health, reduce isolation and promote mental fitness by;


  • Uniting the HE and FE Sector through a UK-wide inclusive BRIT Challenge 

  • Delivering inspiration through our BRIT Ambassadors

  • Raising funds for our Mental Health Charity Partners

450 HE and FE institutions raising a minimum of £2,021 each throughout the UK would raise almost £1million for young adult mental health.

We will achieve this through three aims;



Uniting the HE and FE Sector through a UK-wide inclusive BRIT Challenge 

The BRIT 2021 Challenge is to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover their 2,021 mile target by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).


Delivering inspiration through British Sporting Icons

British Sporting Icons will be invited to join us as BRIT Ambassadors and choose a university or college to visit (dependent on COVID-19 restrictions).  They will be asked to encourage, enthuse and inspire students to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge and champion young adult mental health.


Raise funds for our partner mental health charities

Leadership Teams at every university and college are requested to support their students’ fundraising efforts by utilising their resources to engage local & regional media, encourage their business communities to sponsor/donate and invite their alumni to help their student body reach their fundraising targets.  

Permission Granted - Dame Katherine Grai

"The need to support young adults facing trauma and adversity, both physical and mental, is critical; particularly with the impact of COVID-19 compounding existing mental health difficulties.


BRIT has an inspiring vision and I applaud their collaborative strategy to partner with sport and education partners. Through the BRIT 2021 Challenge, there is clear potential to engage hundreds of thousands of students and significantly improve young adult mental health and fitness.


At a time when restrictions are affecting many team and sport activities, the BRIT 2021 Challenge is an inspirational feelgood fundraising opportunity for young adults to take part safely, on campus or at home, by following guidance from their university or college and of course, COVID-19 Government guidelines.


I hope, wherever possible, the BRIT 2021 Challenge can be encouraged, embraced and enjoyed!"


Dame Katherine Grainger DBE


“In 2019/20, Universities UK partnered with BRIT, together with The Association of Colleges, Colegau Cymru, Colleges Scotland, BUCS and the NUS, to invite and encourage every university and college in the UK to take part in the Row Britannia Challenge.


The founder and non-paid CEO of BRIT personally invited every vice-chancellor and college principal to encourage their students to enter a team, complete the challenge and raise funds to support student mental health.  Almost 130 visits took place during an unprecedented 5-month UK-tour and pre-lockdown, almost 100 institutions were taking part with many more of our members preparing to register teams.


The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stopped hundreds of thousands of students, and staff, from completing their 2,020 mile challenge and reaching their fundraising targets.  I am delighted that BRIT is delivering a bigger, better and more inclusive BRIT 2021 Challenge in 2021 that can be completed on campus or at home, depending on the restrictions in place. This will enable students to take part wherever they are. 


I urge all of our members to register teams to take part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge, support their students in taking on their 2021 mile challenge and help to raise vital funds for BRIT’s collaboration of mental health charities who support young adults in the UK.”


Professor Julia Buckingham CBE

President of Universities UK

Universities UK.jpg


The health and the safety of all our supporters is really important to us. Please keep safe and follow the Government guidelines, including any local lockdown requirements, when doing any fundraising in aid of BRIT and our Charity Partners. 

For full guidelines please check the Chartered Institute of Fundraising website to ensure you are familiar with what is required of you, the fundraiser, during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may also wish to check the latest regional guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The BRIT 2021 Challenge has been designed for Universities, Colleges and Student Unions to coordinate their their team's participation and encourage as many students, and staff, as possible to take part, raise funds and have fun.  Whilst institutions will take full responsibility for organising, supervising or hosting their fundraising activity, the Challenge is flexible to allow students, and staff, to take part safely, on campus or at home.

By engaging in any activity to fundraise in aid of BRIT and our Charity Partners, teams and individuals agree to do so at their own risk and that they are voluntarily participating in the BRIT 2021 Challenge.  

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) Terms of Use can be found HERE

The BRIT 2021 Challenge is a 2,021 mile team challenge to be completed between now and 1st July 2021 (we have extended the challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions and at the request of UK universities and colleges).


Registration is still open to give everyone the time and flexibility to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge in their own unique way and without feeling pressure. 


The BRIT 2021 Challenge is an inclusive feel-good fundraiser to improve mental health and fitness, all whilst raising vital funds to support young adult mental health. Every UK university, college and student union are invited to register to take part, enter teams, and support student and staff participation, both on campus or at home.  

The Challenge is designed to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover the 2,021 mile distance by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).   


We are inviting the 5 million students, and staff, at every UK university and college to unite with us.



We are sincerely grateful to the Education and Sport Governing Bodies and Mental Health Charities who are continuing to unite and partner with us to support the BRIT 2021 Challenge.

By inviting and encouraging every Vice-Chancellor, College Principal and Student Union President to champion the BRIT 2021 Challenge, our Education Partners, including The Committee of University Chairs (CUS), Universities UK (UUK), the Association of Colleges (AoC), Colleges Scotland, ColegauCymru and the National Union of Students (NUS), are helping to ensure we increase the opportunity for every student and member of staff to take part.


In 2017, there had been a 210% increase in the number of students leaving university due to mental health problems over the past 5 years.

*Higher Education Statistics Agency.


85% of colleges reported an increase in students with disclosed mental health issues in the past 3 years.


*Association of Colleges (AoC) Survey December 



87% of first year students (almost nine in 10) find it difficult to cope with social or academic aspects of university life.


*University Partnerships Programme (UPP) annual Student Experience survey 2017.


There was a 76% increase in the number of university Students seeking mental health support in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017.

*The British Psychological Society - Mental Health and Wellbeing in Scotland's higher and further education sector.

Donate to the

British Inspiration Trust (BRIT)

​By supporting BRIT you will enable us to improve the mental health and fitness of young adults throughout the UK and deliver the BRIT 2021 Challenge.

Donate to the BRIT 2021 Challenge


The BRIT 2021 Challenge is designed to raise vital funds for our partner mental health charities who provide support to students and young adults.  All funds raised will be split equally between;​