Between now and 16th May 2021 (the last day of Mental Health Awareness Week), universities, colleges and student unions will be registering for our BRIT 2021 Challenge and uniting in support of young adult mental health. Teams have until the 1st July 2021* to complete their BRIT 2021 Challenge
*(we have extended the challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions and at the request of UK universities and colleges).
Universities and colleges have shared advice on some of the best ways to embrace the BRIT 2021 Challenge and bring their whole university or college together to fundraise, engaging their students, and staff, and raise positive awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
Two of our BRIT Challenges enabled us to tour the UK over a combined 18 month period and visit over 400
universities, colleges and institutions. We gained valuable knowledge and experience from students and staff of the many ways that universities, colleges and student unions support charities and embrace challenges.
We saw that each university, college and student union has a wealth of energy and determination when fundraising for charities and their alumni, philanthropic networks and professional resources often compliment the great ideas, activities, enthusiasm and team-spirit of their student bodies. Our BRIT Challenges are designed to unite the goodwill of every UK university, college and student union and invite them to have a collectively powerful impact.
Advice from universities and colleges has enabled us to design the BRIT 2021 Challenge and ensure it is flexible for every university, college and student union so they can make their unique contribution as successful as possible in supporting young adult mental health.
A whole university or college approach to mental health has been the most successful way to increase participation and raise funds.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge will finish on the 1st July 2021 (we have extended the challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions and at the request of UK universities and colleges). This gives every university, college and student union time to register, promote their event, set their fundraising target and decide how their team(s) will complete their 2,021 miles.
Here are three tips when taking on your BRIT 2021 Challenge;
TIPS FOR TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE
TAKING ON THE
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, we know universities, colleges and student unions are finding creative ways to engage students and staff who are working remotely. We have designed the BRIT 2021 Challenge for organisations and teams to participate in their own unique way and unite in support of young adult mental health.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge is designed to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover the 2021 mile distance by either hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).
Our aspiration is for as many students, and staff, as possible to be encouraged to join their university or college team. The bigger the team, the more funds will be raised for our partner mental health charities.
Bringing together a BRIT 2021 Challenge Coordination Group was an approach used by many universities and colleges on our previous, UK-wide, BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge to ensure that students and staff were integral to organising their event and there was engagement across the whole institution to promote student and staff participation.
Here are the Brand Assets to enable you to set up your BRIT 2021 Challenge campaign.
UNITE AS A TEAM
“Buckinghamshire New University was delighted to take part in BRIT’s 2020 Row Britannia Challenge. Our students and staff joined together in this inspirational event which saw the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Braisby rowing alongside our students to help raise funds for charities providing mental health support to young adults.
We were thrilled that BRIT delivered inspiration, excitement and encouragement to everyone who took part by coordinating visits from their founder, Phil Packer MBE; Paralympic Gold Medallist and Bucks alumni, Naomi Riches MBE; and presenter & former gymnast, Gabby Logan MBE.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly compounded mental health challenges for many people. We remain committed to supporting our University community of students and staff to ensure they look after their mental health as they would their physical health.
With the uncertainty of what 2021 will bring, a feel-good fundraising event will provide an opportunity for our students and staff to come together and participate in another exciting and inclusive initiative. We’re looking forward to entering the BRIT 2021 Challenge so that Team Bucks can do their bit to raise vital funds for mental health charities.
We urge every UK university, college and students’ union to join us and help to make a difference through the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”
Professor Nick Braisby
Buckinghamshire New University
BUCKS Students’ Union
Dr Michael Hipkins
Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor
Buckinghamshire New University
Professor Paul Morgan
Head of School
Buckinghamshire New University
An example of setting up a Coordination Group from Falmouth University
“When Falmouth University hosted the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge and met the BRIT Founder, Phil Packer MBE, we brought together a Coordination Group that comprised of key individuals who represented our students, staff and the departments who would allocate resources to promote the Challenge and make it a success.
Our Coordination Group included myself, representing our Leadership Team, and our Director of Student and Academic Services, the Falmouth University Students’ Union President, and our Head of Sports and Nursery Services.
We are delighted that BRIT will be delivering the BRIT 2021 Challenge in support of young adult mental health. By bringing together a Coordination Group, Falmouth University can promote the opportunity for all students and staff to take part on campus, or at home, to both improve their mental health and raise vital funds for BRIT’s partner mental health charities.”
Dr Robin Kirby
Strategic Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor & Secretary to the Board of Governors
Team Participation - One team or multiple teams
Some universities and colleges will adopt a one team approach to taking on the BRIT 2021 Challenge, whereas others may wish to enter multiple teams. This flexibility and choice enables different campuses, colleges and departments or student union sport teams, clubs, societies and groups to enter their own teams.
Our aspiration is for as many students, and staff, as possible to be encouraged to take part as a team to improve their mental health and fitness. Students and staff can complete as many miles as they want to, on campus or at home, and send images of their activity, and distance reached, on social media or by the university, college or SU offering an App or website page.
Reaching your fundraising
Every university and college has the flexibility to set its own fundraising target. If every UK university and college raised £2,021, together they would raise almost £1million for young adult mental heath. The more students, and staff, taking part, the greater awareness and funds will be raised. We hope students and staff will raise as much as they can.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge encourages as many students, and staff, to take part and unite in support of young adult mental health.
Larger universities and colleges may wish to enter more than one team to involve as many students, and staff, as possible. Smaller universities and colleges may wish to enter just one team to complete their 2,021 mile target.
Examples of how universities and colleges plan to reach their distance targets are;
One student or staff member completing one mile each for their team - encouraging 2,021 students and staff to take part
The SU challenging their university or college staff to reach their own 2,021 mile target
Dividing the 2,021 miles between campuses, colleges or departments
Student Sports Clubs or Societies sharing the miles to encourage wide participation (swimming club taking 100 miles, netball team taking 100 miles etc.)
Promoting Inclusivity and Adaptive Sports (hand-cycling, adaptive rowing and wheelchair accessibility)
Encouraging students and staff to send images of their hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding) activity and miles completed on Instagram or Twitter to raise awareness
Each university and college can decide on a how many teams take part, however if all 450 HE and FE institutions encouraged 2,021 students and staff to take part, raised a minimum of £2,021 each throughout the UK, together we would raise almost £1millon for young adult mental health.
REACHING YOUR 2,021 MILE TARGET
Any number of teams can take part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge and the bigger the team, the more funds are likely to be raised for our partner mental health charities.
From experience, we know that some universities and colleges will decide to enter one team for the whole organisation, whereas others may decide to enter multiple teams for each campus, department or SU sports team, club or society.
Universities and colleges have advised us that if more than one team takes part, it is less confusing if everyone uses one central Virgin Money Giving Page for fundraising (so the same link is used on websites & social media).
All funds raised through Virgin Money Giving pages will be shared equally between;
PAPYRUS - Prevention of Young Suicide
The British Inspiration Trust
The Charlie Waller Trust
Here are some examples of how universities and colleges plan to reach their fundraising targets;
Every student and staff member completes one mile and raises £1
Approaching their varsity competitors to challenge them to see who can raise the most
Engaging their alumni to donate and support their fundraising target
Asking local businesses and corporations to match what they raise
The SU challenging the university/college staff and they raise £2,021 together or £2,021 separately (£4,042)
Asking their VC or College Principal to encourage business partners or sponsors to donate or match fund
Each university and college can decide on a fundraising target, however if all 450 HE and FE institutions raised a minimum of £2021 each throughout the UK, together we would raise almost £1m for young adult mental health.
Once your university, college or student union has registered and Virgin Money Giving has emailed your Team Coordinator with your Team's Fundraising Page, the link can be shared as part of your fundraising campaign;
REACH YOUR FUNDRAISING TARGET
Here is an example of Team Participation from The Chichester College Group
The Chichester College Group have supported the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) for many years and our students and staff have been involved in supporting, coordinating and hosting BRIT events including the BRIT 2012 Challenge and more recently, the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of all universities and colleges meant that we were unable to complete the challenge and reach our fundraising target. We are therefore delighted that BRIT are delivering the BRIT 2021 Challenge as a feel-good fundraiser to improve student and staff mental health and fitness, all whilst raising vital funds for mental health charities.
Our Chichester College Group is comprised of five colleges, each having their own Student Union. The BRIT 2021 Challenge provides the flexibility for our students and staff to decide if we enter one team for our whole group or each college and student union enters a team. We want to provide the opportunity for everyone to take part, so it’s great that our colleges have the choice to take on their own 2,021mile target and set their own fundraising targets or decide if we have one fundraising target for the whole group. However we decide to embrace the challenge, this innovative BRIT 2021 Challenge has the potential to improve the mental health and fitness of all our students and staff.
We will do all we can through social media to encourage universities and colleges in the South East Region to join us and take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge.
Shelagh Legrave OBE DL
Chief Executive Officer
Chichester College Group
Here is an example of how to reach your fundraising target from the Sport and Wellbeing Officer at Coventry University Students' Union
"The awareness of mental health, and physical health issues has always been important to me personally, as well as CUSU and Coventry University.
It is now, more than ever, a vital part of everyone's existence; ensuring that each and every one of us takes care of our own health, as well as support those around us that need it. The addition of working and 'living' remotely under COVID-19 conditions has highlighted the importance of this fantastic BRIT 2021 Challenge.
The benefits of promoting good mental and physical health awareness, whilst also raising funds for charities, that support students and young adults, is an opportunity that we couldn't pass up on.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge is a campaign that we will be completing with students, staff, alumni and community alike!
We can't wait to get started, and show how effective and powerful our collective community can be."
Sport and Wellbeing Officer
Coventry University Students' Union
Here is an example of how to reach the 2,021 mile target from Coventry University
“When our university and SU took on the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge, our SU and students worked together with our university staff to plan how we would complete our 2,020 miles as a team. This whole university collaborative approach was highly successful and is how we plan to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge. By combining our resources and enthusiasm, we intend to ensure every student and member of staff has the ability to participate to improve their mental health and fitness.
With the possibility of restrictions being in place, we will encourage as many students and staff to take on the challenge and complete 1 mile each wherever they are. We intend to enter one team for the whole university and promote the BRIT 2021 Challenge so that our many departments and student teams, groups and societies can also take on a number of miles towards our overall target. If more than one team does decide to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge, we will ensure everyone uses just one central Virgin Money Giving Page for fundraising.
The BRIT 2021 Challenge could not be coming at a more important time as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have led to our students and staff working remotely and being unable to come together for team events or activities. Our students and staff will be invited to complete their miles by either handcycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding) and use Instagram or Twitter to send in their miles with images of their activity. This will also raise awareness of the BRIT 2021 Challenge throughout our university and help raise as much as we can”.
Head of Sport, Physical Activity and Commercial Business
Below are a few examples of BRIT Challenge successes;