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BNU completes 10,000 miles and raises more than £2k for young adult mental health charities

Buckinghamshire New University (BNU) has completed 10,054 miles and raised £2,079.60 (£2,475.86 with gift aid) for the British Inspiration Trust’s (BRIT) 2021 Challenge, which supports young adult mental health in the UK.

BNU’s challenge began in Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) and ended after three weeks of activity by 121 staff members, who walked, ran, cycled, swam, and rowed in local areas to achieve the final total.

The donations will be split equally between five young adult mental health charities at a time of great need because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT)PAPYRUS Prevention of Young SuicideStudent MindsThe Nightline Association; and the Charlie Waller Trust

The success follows last year’s BRIT Row Britannia challenge by BNU in aid of Sport Relief where staff and students attempted to row 2020 metres each or in pairs.

Professor Nick Braisby, BNU Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that the University has come together to support the BRIT Challenge for the second year in a row. Whilst improving our own fitness and mental health, we have also raised a significant sum of money to support mental health charities, a cause that aligns really well with our own values and mission. I am grateful to all the many colleagues who took part, right across the institution, and for their demonstration of a real One University spirit!"

Phil Packer, Founder and Non-Paid CEO of BRIT, added: “My sincere thanks to every student and staff member at Buckinghamshire New University for their tremendous support, enthusiasm and commitment to complete the BRIT 2021 Challenge. I am thrilled that you reached your £2,021 target and completing over 10,000 miles is an awesome achievement! At a time when fundraising is extremely challenging for every charity, your efforts are very much appreciated.

Sporting icons including Paralympians, Olympians and sporting figures support the BRIT challenges by becoming BRIT Ambassadors for participating universities they have a connection with, usually through being an alum or living locally.

Naomi Riches MBE, BNU’s BRIT 2021 ambassador, BNU alumna, and London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist, said: “I’m just delighted to hear what BNU has achieved in both mileage and fundraising for the BRIT Challenge 2021. In typical BNU style, they stepped up, got stuck in and came up with the results. I am really proud, as a Bucks alumni, to support them taking part in the BRIT Challenge for the 2nd year running and I hope this will continue for years to come. YEAH TEAM BUCKS!!!”