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.  

THE BRIT 
CHALLENGE

OUR AIMS 

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 and encouraging fundraising activity to support the charity sector

We will achieve this through three aims;

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1

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

The annual BRIT Challenge is to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover each year's target distance by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).

2

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 annual BRIT Challenge and champion young adult mental health and fitness.

3

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

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"Our ethos is to collaborate and we strive to bring organisations and individuals together and be collectively powerful. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported BRIT and enabled us to grow as a charity and have a positive impact on the lives of young adults and students throughout the UK 

 

The success of our annual BRIT Challenge is down to the universities, colleges and students who take part.  Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and staff over the past two years, we have been overwhelmed by the extraordinary enthusiasm and commitment from almost 180 universities, colleges and Students’ Unions throughout the UK.  I know how challenging fundraising has been over the past three years and appreciate the support of every student and staff member who has taken on the BRIT Challenge, encouraged friends to join their team’s efforts and raised both awareness and vital funds for our charity partners.

 

I am also sincerely grateful to the 140 Olympians, Paralympians, Sports Personalities, Adventurers and Explorers, who have joined our BRIT Ambassador family this year. They have united in championing the BRIT Challenge, supporting universities and colleges of their choice, and encouraging students of all abilities to take part.

 

With the continued encouragement of the Charity, Education and Sports sectors, will deliver the next annual BRIT Challenge in February 2022, invite every UK university and college to enter teams, and continue to grow our BRIT Ambassador family in order to encourage student participation."

Phil Packer

Founder and Non-Paid CEO

The British Inspiration Trust

COLLABORATIVE APPROACH 

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 annual BRIT Challenge.

By inviting and encouraging every Vice-Chancellor, College Principal and Student Union President to champion the BRIT 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.

210%*

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%*

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

 

*Association of Colleges (AoC) Survey December 

2016.

87%*

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.

76%*

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 annual BRIT Challenge.

The BRIT 2021 Challenge concluded on the 1st July 2021.  The next annual BRIT Challenge will take place in February 2022 and team registration will open later this year.

 

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

The annual BRIT Challenge is designed to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover each year's distance (2022 will be 2,022 miles) 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.

THE BRIT CHALLENGE