Paul Williams


Big Change
Big Change has a fundamental belief in the UK’s young people. They’re our priority, our passion, and our inspiration. And everything we do is designed to help them be the very best version of themselves. Helping them rise above and beyond their circumstances, and giving them the opportunity, motivation and courage to see the positive differences they can make for themselves, for others, and for their community. How do we do it? By identifying, partnering with and connecting like-minded organisations and individuals who are all striving to accelerate positive change. We raise money and awareness around key issues for youth in the UK. We support the people and projects at the heart of communities that are doing important, innovative work at ground level to make a real difference. And they’re people who are not afraid to work together to bring brilliant ideas to life.
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Paul Williams's STRIVE Challenge

Paul Williams

My page:

Over the last few years, I've become increasingly impressed by a group of people who seem to have boundless energy and vision to see the upcoming generation of schoolkids and young people reach their full potential. Big Change identifies organizations on the front-line of education and youth support work, and helps incubate their ideas.

The STRIVE Challenge is an ambituous, adventurous endeavour where we will push ourselves beyond our current abilities trekking, cycling, swimming and running the length of Italy, raising money for Big Change. I joinrd the first cycling leg - cycling 480 miles in 5 days, including 22,000 feet (6700m) of incline - that is two thirds the height of Mount Everest! My blog of the adventure is here: .

For me this was a huge challenge - as many of you know, I started running 4 years ago and have now completed 10 half marathons and the London Marathon last year - but I had only recently got on a bike and started training for this intense endurance event.

I am totally convinced all money raised through this challenge will go to support fantastic projects. Every time I've seen this group of people present their work, I have come away completely inspired.

Update: During the week, Richard Branson directly challenged me to personally match all donations - so I will do that, up to a total of £2000 of my own money, to get me to my target, which Bloomberg, the company I work for, will kindly match.

So what does Big Change actually do? Young people today are growing up in an increasingly complex world - full of new challenges and opportunities - but the ways we are supporting and educating them haven't always caught up. As Albert Enstein said: "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them".

That's why Big Change backs innovative ideas that are thinking differently about how we set young people up to thrive in life, not just in exams. It acts as a venture capital incubator, finding projects with big potential and supporting them with seed funding, connections and expertise so they can prove their impact and go on to be sustainable.

Projects from past STRIVEs have already gone on to get major government and other funding and are now held up as pioneers in their field - read more in the charity's IMPACT Report.

This year STRIVE will be supporting a new portfolio of projects addressing gaps in the skills, support and experiences young people need to build a growth mindset and strive in life. Some of those that will receive funding:

How To Thrive: A 'growth mindset' and the resilience to grow from setbacks, trauma and tough decisions takes practice - How to Thrive runs programmes with teachers and students to help them build these critical skills through real world practice. Big Change is helping them expand from local excellence to national organization.

Voice 21: With inner city young people speaking on average four words per lesson, a revolution is needed in helping young people find their voice. From public speaking to feedback and collaboration, Voice 21 are supporting schools to put speaking skills at the heart of what they do. Big Change is providing follow-on funding to help them scale their great work.

Teacher Wellbeing: Teachers are some of the most critical people in a child's life, yet are fast becoming one of the country's most stressed workforces. Big Change is working with teachers and experts to identify and back the most powerful ideas that can catalyse a shift in the support of teacher wellbeing.

Demos and Big Change: Thinking beyond just exam results to the broader skills and midset young people need to thrive in life, Big Change is working with educators, youth workers, young people and business leaders to define a freamwork of what success looks like in the 21st century.

Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for your donations.

Recent donors

09.10.16 Matching recent donations. Thank you everybody!

03.10.16 Wow! Amazing challenge and organisation your doing this for

29.09.16 Well done Paul !!

27.09.16 It was a real pleasure riding with you! Richard

21.09.16 Well done Paulie! Truly impressed.

21.09.16 Personal match for all my friends' donations - thank you so much!

21.09.16 :)


15.09.16 Very impressive effort for your ride

12.09.16 Almost there! Here's to a great last day! xx

12.09.16 Well done Paul! Keep it up.

12.09.16 Well done!



11.09.16 Good luck Paul!

10.09.16 Doubling up!


10.09.16 Go Pail

10.09.16 You're inspiring!


10.09.16 Good luck and be safe.

07.09.16 Good luck Paul. What a challenge you have set yourself. I hope you get to enjoy the views midst leg burn :)


07.09.16 Go Paul!!!!!



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