Registration is now open for universities, colleges, specialist colleges and Students' Unions to enter teams in the BRIT Challenge.
The next BRIT Challenge will take place between 1st February 2022 and 3rd March 2022 (University Mental Health Day).
Universities and colleges have shared advice on some of the best ways to embrace the annual BRIT 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 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. We are thrilled that over the past two years, almost 180 university and college teams have taken part in our annual BRIT Challenge.
A whole university or college approach to mental health has been the most successful way to increase participation and raise funds.
The next BRIT Challenge will take place between 1st February 2022 and 3rd March 2022. Registration will open in November 2021 to give every university, college, specialist college and Students' Union time to register teams, promote their event, set their fundraising target and decide how their team(s) will complete their distance target.
To help Team Coordinators pre-BRIT Challenge, our Founder, Phil, is offering to join students and staff on Teams/Zoom to share some of the great ideas that universities and colleges have used to make their BRIT Challenges a success. These ideas include; entering one team for the whole organisation and sharing the 2,022 miles between campuses, departments or Students' Union sports teams, clubs and societies; entering multiple teams; challenging another university or college; teaming up with a local college/specialist college; using social media to engage the whole student body; inviting sporting alumna/local sports teams to help with the miles and awareness raising.
Here are three tips when taking on your BRIT Challenge;
TIPS FOR TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE
TAKING ON THE
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, universities, colleges and Students' Unions found creative ways to engage students and staff who were working remotely. Over the past two years, almost 180 universities and colleges have taken part in the annual BRIT Challenge. We have designed the BRIT Challenge for organisations and teams to participate in their own unique way and unite in support of young adult mental health.
The annual BRIT Challenge is designed to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover that year's distance target (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).
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 Challenge Coordination Group was an approach used by many universities and colleges on our previous, UK-wide, BRIT Challenges 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.
UNITE AS A TEAM
“As a University community we are committed to supporting our students' and staff wellbeing, as well as promoting good mental health.
The last year has shown us that now, more than ever, we need to be together in supporting everyone within our community.
The BRIT Row Britannia Challenge was successful last year in bringing us together, creating awareness of mental health and the support that is available, and we hoped that this year will be no different. All our students and staff were encouraged to take up the BRIT 2021 Challenge, where possible, and unite behind this deserving cause.
Throughout February and March, we took part in the BRIT 2021 Challenge - an incredible collaboration, bringing together universities, colleges, and sporting icons to raise both vital funds and mental health awareness.
The impact that the annual BRIT Challenges have had on our University community have been extraordinary. Last year, over 1000 students, staff and alumni took part; this year, despite COVID-19 restrictions, over 600 students, staff and alumni took part and the challenge undoubtedly improved and supported the mental health and fitness of our students and staff.
We are thrilled that BRIT will be delivering an annual inclusive BRIT Challenge as a February feel-good fundraiser. I am delighted that our University are continuing a special relationship with BRIT and exploring many different ways for our students and staff to be part of the charity’s vision and aims."
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
Canterbury Christ Church 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 Challenge, whereas others may wish to enter multiple teams. This flexibility and choice enables different campuses, colleges and departments or Students' 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 £2,022, together they would raise almost £1million for local, regional and national charities, alongside BRIT. 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 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, colleges and specialist colleges may wish to enter just one team to complete their distance target.
Examples of how universities and colleges reached their distance targets in previous BRIT Challenges are;
One student or staff member completing one mile each for their team - encouraging 2,022 students and staff to take part
The Students' Union challenging their university or college staff to reach their own 2,022 mile target
Dividing the 2,022 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, college, specialist college and Students' Union can decide on a how many teams take part, however if all 450 HE and FE institutions encouraged 2,022 students and staff to take part, raised a minimum of £2,022 each throughout the UK, together we would raise almost £1million for local, regional and national charities, alongside BRIT.
REACHING YOUR DISTANCE TARGET
Any number of teams can take part in the annual BRIT 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 Students' Union 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 Fundraising Page (so the same link is used on websites & social media).
Here are some examples of how universities and colleges reached 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 Students' Union challenging the university/college staff and they raise £2,022 together or £2,022 separately (£4,044)
Asking their VC or College Principal to encourage business partners or sponsors to donate or match fund
Each university, college, specialist college and Students' Union can decide on a fundraising target, however if all 450 HE and FE institutions raised a minimum of £2022 each throughout the BRIT Challenge, together we would raise almost £1m for local, regional and national charities, alongside BRIT.
Once your university, college, specialist college or Students' Union has registered (from November 2021) and you Team Coordinator has set up 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 distance 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;