Picking up where they left off (literally), the Strive team set their sights on the next challenge; more than 2000km of hiking and cycling, culminating in a triathlon which will finish at the summit of Mount Etna.

A photo by Joshua Earle. unsplash.com/photos/Dwheufds6kQ

Following a more than eventful yet successful strive challenge back in 2014, where the team journeyed from London to Switzerland on human-power alone, Richard Branson is back with a new goal to reach.

This year’s core team will increase to 20 members, with more than 300 Strivers joining together to complete different legs of the challenge. In doing so, Big Change hopes to raise £1.5 million for innovative projects in support of young people, opening new doors and providing them with the tools to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

September sees a month long set of challenges ahead of the Strivers, starting from the base of the Matterhorn and completing 5 different events to take them to Mount Etna, where a half marathon awaits! The Grand Finale could end with a (weather permitting) paraglide from the top of the stunning volcano (just another day in the office – hey!)

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Whilst you might just be getting to your desks for the day, Richard, Holly & Sam Branson, along with 17 other Strivers, are setting off on a five day hike from the base of the Matterhorn, close to the Swedish town of Zermatt, and heading for the small commune of Rima San Gisueppe in Northern Italy. The hiking group will endure long days, encountering some remote terrain and difficult treks, seeking hospitality in small mountain refuges before recuperating for the next stage.

We’ll be following their journey at each stage of the challenge, so make sure to check back next week to find out how they’re getting on. In the meantime, if you’re wondering what it’s all about, let us catch you up with the wonderful opportunities that have arisen as a result of Big Change.

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In order to make a ‘Big Change’, Strive works to nurture powerful ideas at an early stage, giving them the support to find their feet and continue to thrive. Existing projects include Voice 21, a trust that works to give young people a voice in school. Through the funding and support from Big Change, more than 3,000 students now have access to dedicated Oracy lessons, making sure it is valued on the same level as reading, writing and numeracy.

This is just one of the projects that has been given the wings to take off from the success of Strive 2014, to support the team on this years mammoth challenge, head to Virgin Money giving to donate and help them reach their target of £1.5 million.

Head back next week to find out how they’re getting on as they start the second leg of their journey, cycling from the Italian Alps into Southern Italy. Our Halfords Cycling Team will be following closely behind, so keep your eyes peeled for sneak peeks live on location!

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Feeling inspired? Check out our top tips for keeping your bike tip top and challenge ready. Ciao for now!

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