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Susie Ma

Strive Challenge 2018

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Last year’s Strive Challenge was one of the greatest experiences of my life so far, both for the impression it left on me personally and for the money we raised for Big Change - a collective half a million pounds! The organisation’s mission to positively affect the lives of young people in the UK really struck a chord with me and so many others and, after the 2017 challenge ended, I signed up for the second year in a row, this time with an even stronger desire to be part of that change.[/p][p][img]https://static.wixstatic.com/media/6ebbfc_51166e34c9e94437bf8540ca9a095505~mv2_d_6389_4259_s_4_2.jpg/v1/fill/w_892,h_595,al_c,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/6ebbfc_51166e34c9e94437bf8540ca9a095505~mv2_d_6389_4259_s_4_2.webp[/img][/p][p]Over the past year, I have been introduced to even more of the work that Big Change do to help young people, and my eyes have been opened to issues that I had never even considered.?[/p][p]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. In an environment where your education is not prioritised and your passions are not nurtured, what can you do to improve your situation?[/p][p]In 2011 I watched the London riots happening on TV, with much of the destruction taking place in Croydon where I grew up and still live today. They represented a huge disconnect in our country, where middle and upper class youths are brought up with strong values, a great education, aspirational figures and opportunities to pursue their dreams, while people in less affluent boroughs and areas affected by gang culture are brought up lacking the same values, education, opportunities to thrive and therefore the same outlook on life. We live in a broken society where the gap between the wealthy and those living on the breadline is only seen and felt by the latter of both groups. Through this disconnect, we are failing disadvantaged young people, and it’s time to make things right in any way we can.[/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][vmgvideo class="ql-video" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lYse9TOqt2U?showinfo=0&rel=0&iv_load_policy=3"][/vmgvideo][p][br][/p][p]The Strive Challenge is a way for Big Change to bring together like-minded people with a platform for change. The challenge takes place in Italy and France throughout September, and consists of the 5 stages below: [/p][p][b]Stage 1:[/b] Starting out at the base of Mount Etna, we’ll be enduring 4 days of cycling and 2 days of sea kayaking across Sardinia, where the group will be cycling an average of 100km, with 1,000m of climbing, each day. We’ll then be kayaking through the Alghero Gulf for roughly 10km a day.[/p][p][b]Stage 2: [/b]A 5-day hike on the island of Corsica. We’ll be spending 4 of the days on the GR20 which they say is ‘the hardest but most beautiful hike in Europe’. Accommodation will be mountain huts which is about as basic as it gets, but I can’t wait to be out in nature![/p][p][b]Stage 3:[/b] A 5-day cycle this time, travelling from Monaco to Tignes. We’ll be cycling through the Southern Alps and will be tackling the iconic Tour de France climbs. This will be the toughest stage of the challenge, cycling a distance of 110km every day, while ascending 2,100m each day.[/p][p][b]Stage 4:[/b] Another 5-day hike, except this one is less mountain peaks and more alpine meadows and valleys. We’re going to be hiking for about 100km and ascending 5,000m over the 5 days, between the ski resorts of Tignes and Chamonix, staying in basic mountain huts along the way.[/p][p][b]Stage 5: [/b]The final stage is the Mont Blanc climb! Only the core team are going to be taking on this hike and I can’t wait to climb the highest peak in Western Europe. At 4,810m high, Mont Blanc is said to be a beautiful summit to scale, with incredible views of the Alps. I can’t think of a better ending to what is sure to be a tough but amazing challenge. You can read more on the official Strive website [url=https://www.strivechallenge.org/the-route/]here[/url].[/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. I hope that everyone who feels the same as I do about powering real change in this country will help me raise my target total of £50,000 before the challenge kicks off in September. Investing in the next generation is what helps to shape our future, so please dig deep and donate, and know that any and every contribution, big or small, will help towards change in this country.[/p][p]Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram account [url=https://www.instagram.com/susiematropic/]@susiematropic [/url]for updates on my journey - it’s going to be quite an adventure![/p][p]Love, Susie x[/p][p][img]https://static.wixstatic.com/media/6ebbfc_31b82b9801944112a8713aae011b5d01~mv2_d_5969_3979_s_4_2.jpg/v1/crop/x_13,y_460,w_5942,h_3213/fill/w_891,h_482,al_c,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/6ebbfc_31b82b9801944112a8713aae011b5d01~mv2_d_5969_3979_s_4_2.webp[/img][/p]

Share Susie's story



Caitlin McAllister

(Just wrote a message so hopefully this doesn't come up twice!) Congratulations Susie!! You've done an incredible job, and you should be so proud - what an achievement! x

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid



Thank you Susie for continuing to inspire us, to make a real difference to the world we live in, and for proving to us all that, as my Mum used to say, "there s no such word as "can't!" :) lots of love, Marie-Claire x

£150.00 plus £37.50 Gift Aid


Ruth Young

Well done Susie. As one of your Tropic Ambassadors I was moved to tears by your story at glambassadors. You are a true inspiration.

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid


Lindsey Baker - Stylist

Well done Susie! You’re amazing! You should be so proud! Lots of love Lindsey Baker xxx


Jackie Couzens

Always an inspiration! From the markets to the mountains ... where will you take us next Susie? Can't wait xx Lots of love and admiration xx




Well done Susie! I’m so incredibly proud of you, this is such an amazing achievement and you’ve helped so many deserving children. I can’t wait to give you a big hug soon. Lots of love xxxxxx




Well done Susie - you smashed it like we knew you would!!!



Summit. Brava!



Richard and Monica

Well done Susie! Keep going, you are nearly there. Such a good cause. xx



Rachel Warren

Such an inspiration. Praying for your success