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Iona Stephen

Virgin Strive Duathlon Challenge 2018

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]SO guys, I am truly stepping out my comfort zone and into an exciting challenge with Virgin Strive 2018. Until this point, I have NEVER attempted to raise money for a charity as I know it is always hard to ask friends to donate. In August of 2018, I will take part in a Duathlon (Stage one Cycle and Stage two Sea Kayaking) over 6 days from Alghero to Porto Conte, Sardinia. We will do 4 days of cycling (100km/day) and 2 days of Kayaking (Roughly 6 hours per day) and it is all to help raise money for an[b] exceptional charity[/b][u] BIG CHANGE[/u]. [/p][p]-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.[/p][p]Big change is a charity that helps a cause very close to my heart - offering real educational opportunities to the next generation in a world where they need support more than ever before. Not every young person is given an equal playing field when it comes to education, jobs and even their living situation. According to Frontline (thefrontline.org.uk), half a million children in England do not have a safe or stable place to call home, and there are over 70,000 children living with foster carers, under the supervision of social services, or housed in children’s homes. I had never considered that while 40% of all young people in our country go on to university, only 6% of all young people in care do the same, or that young people in care are 6 times more likely to be cautioned or convicted of a crime than others their age (Frontline). [/p][p]It’s not only children in care that are affected, however; even with parents in the picture, many young people face issues at early stages in their lives. Studies have shown that children born into poverty are 4 times more likely to be excluded from school and, once excluded, only 1% go on to get 5 GCSEs. Worryingly, research also reveals that 1 in every 2 prisoners in the system were once excluded from school.[/p][p]In an environment where your education is not prioritised and your passions are not nurtured, what can you do to improve your situation? BIG CHANGE are doing some amazing things to help. [/p][p]Big Change could be a beacon of light for many young people affected by these issues and systemic injustices. The organisation does some incredible work to find, fund and support charities and projects that are capable of driving real, positive change in this country. They are currently working with several organisations to help vulnerable children at their early stages, such as [url=https://www.the-difference.com/]The Difference[/url], who work with teachers to prevent school exclusion and improve inclusive practices, and [url=https://easypeasyapp.com/]EasyPeasy[/url], who offer support for parents of preschool children to help develop the skills that will prepare them for school and beyond.[/p][p]Virgin Strive have put together a 5 stage challenge from Mount Etna to the summit of Mount Blanc! I’ll take part in 1 Stage, involving 4 days of intense cycling and 2 days of Sea Kayaking. I’m a professional golfer, not a professional Duathlete but I’m ready to push myself and train for this event in August. I’m aiming to raise £3000 and will share my training and videos from the event live. If you think you can contribute a few pounds I will be forever in your debt and you will be helping a wonderful cause that is pushing for change right now! [/p][p]I feel more ready than ever to take on the Strive Challenge and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of helping these young people realise their full potential.[/p][p][u]BIG CHANGE[/u] is a charity that helps young people to thrive and all young people deserve the chance to be passionate about their lives and their dreams, in the same way many of us have been given the chance. [/p][p]All young people should have the support and mentoring to lead healthy and empowering lives. BIG CHANGE make that possible through the most fantastic initiatives. [/p][p]Any support from you would mean the world. Small donations are just as important as big ones. A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you for helping young people to live a life of opportunity and meaning. [/p][p][br][/p][p]WHAT DO BIG CHANGE DO: [/p][p]1. Give young people the[b] skills [/b]to believe in themselves and drive change in their own lives and the world around them (for example [url=https://big-change.org/21trust/][b]Voice 21[/b][/url], an oracy curriculum that is helping young people to communicate better)[/p][p]2. Help young people access the [b]opportunities[/b] they need to develop and grow (for example [url=https://big-change.org/ncs/][b]NCS[/b][/url]’s opportunity hub, an online platform that will give 60% of teenagers in the UK access to employment and volunteering opportunities)[/p][p]3. Create environments of [b]support[/b] for young people where change is possible – often that means understanding and working with key adults including parents, teachers, social worker or guardians (for example [url=https://big-change.org/frontline/][b]Frontline[/b][/url], a graduate children’s social work programme that is bringing new talent to the profession)[/p][p][br][/p]
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Share Iona's story



Kevin dundas

After the event, but congratulations on completing it Kevin

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid


Louise and James

Congratulations Noni - fantastic achievement!! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid


Simon Booth

Hey Iona it was so good to meet you, well done finishing Strive Sardinia and being a ray of sunshine throughout. Please say hello to Dee and thank her for the foot massage. Simon X



Alex D

Great work Noni....looked like an incredible challenge. Al x

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid


The Wolf Pack!

Let's go golfing!




My swings going to need a lot of work. Well done out there and look forward to some golf.

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid



Hi Iona, Sorry the donation is after the challenge! Well done in completing it for such a good cause.....And for all the hard yards in training!

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid


Sean Paul

Thanks for the beer and your awesome singing voice - really helped with the gruelling kayaking!

£110.00 plus £27.50 Gift Aid


Alexis - STRIVER





Nailed it! Endurance sport is now your friend..

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid