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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Universities UK continues to partner with BRIT and champions the annual BRIT Challenge

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) continue to deliver their annual feelgood February fundraiser and invite every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and raise funds for local, regional and national charities.

Our relationship with Universities UK (UUK) has grown from strength to strength over the past three years and they have worked tirelessly to champion and promote our BRIT Challenges.

BRIT has three aims;

* Support student mental health, fitness & wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness

* Deliver inspiration to young adults, and destigmatise mental health, with the support of BRIT Ambassadors

* Raise vital funds for local, regional and national charities

Over the past two years, almost 180 university and college teams have taken part in the BRIT Challenge. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to compound existing mental health issues, BRIT hopes that every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union will embrace the opportunity to take part and encourage student and staff participation; either on campus or at home.

The next BRIT Challenge will take place between 1st February and 3rd March 2022 (University Mental Health Day).

We are delighted to have forged a partnership with UUK and thrilled that this special relationship will continue as we deliver the annual BRIT Challenge to improve and support young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

We are sincerely grateful to Professor Steve West CBE DL for all his support to urge every Vice-Chancellor to both embrace and champion the annual BRIT Challenge. Steve has supported BRIT as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Chair of Universities UK Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group and now as the newly elected President of Universities UK.

“I am thrilled that Universities UK will continue to partner with the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) in order to invite and encourage all of our 147 UK universities and their Students’ Unions to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge. Over the past two years, almost 130 university teams have taken on the BRIT Challenges and encouraged their students and staff to participate.

It is excellent to see BRIT will be delivering their annual inclusive BRIT Challenge as a "feel good February" fundraiser; with the collective support of UK universities, this inspiring event should become a firm fixture in the events calendar for students of all ages. BRIT are a collaborative charity and it is great to see that they are inviting every organisation to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities; many of whom have felt the impact of the pandemic on their fundraising efforts.

The next BRIT Challenge will take place throughout February 2022, ending on 3rd March - University Mental Health Day. As President of Universities UK, I urge all of my fellow Vice-Chancellors to join me in championing the BRIT Challenge by entering teams and embracing this tremendous initiative as a catalyst for adopting a whole university approach to supporting and improving student and staff mental health.”

Professor Steve West CBE DL FChS FCPodM FRSM FRSA

President of Universities UK

Professor Steve West CBE DL - President of Universities UK

We are also grateful to the former President of UUK, Professor Julia Buckingham CBE FMEdSci, who urged every university Vice-Chancellor to support the BRIT 2021 Challenge and unite with us in order to support & improve young adult mental health & fitness.

​John de Pury has been instrumental in coordinating the invaluable support we have received from the UUK Team. John is Assistant Director of Policy at UUK and currently leads policy programmes on Higher Education (HE) Innovation and Health and directs the UUK Health Research Networks.

The support from UUK has been extraordinary and we are most grateful to Alistair Jarvis (Chief Executive of UUK), Alastair Sim (Director, Universities Scotland), Amanda Wilkinson (Director, Universities Wales), Michael Thompson (Deputy Director of Communications & External Affairs), Jo Hindle, (Head of Media Relations), Clara Plackett (Senior Press & Social Media Officer) and Kristen Hinds (Executive Assistant, Policy Group) for all their tremendous support.


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