Brighton College takes on mammoth challenge to support local children’s charity.

Despite learning remotely, pupils at Brighton College are working together to virtually travel 6,000km from Brighton in the UK to Brighton in the USA to raise money for Rockinghorse - a charity which supports sick babies and children throughout Sussex.

During this third lockdown staff and pupils at the school are well aware of the strain that the pandemic is having on people’s physical and emotional wellbeing, especially those less fortunate in the local community.

Which is why the boys of Durnford House, one of the 14 houses at the school, decided to undertake this virtual biathlon, running and cycling, to raise money for local charities.

Toby Carden, a 4th form student at Brighton College, nominated Rockinghorse as one of their charity recipients: “My reason for nominating Rockinghorse is because it is a local charity that has benefited many children and their family’s including some of my own relatives who have been helped when they needed it most.”

Rockinghorse bike ride - Michael Murphy SUS-210102-140802001

The school has a great history of raising money, having taken on a range of different fundraising events over the recent years. Mr Cornish, Housemaster at Durnford House, explained more about how they came up with this year’s challenge: “Each year Durnford House has taken on a sponsored running challenge in aid of charities that have been nominated by the boys in the House.

“In previous years we have run the length of the South Downs Way and in the first lockdown we virtually completed the Lands’ End to John O’Groats route. This year the Upper Sixth boys have put a new take on this idea: running and cycling, virtually and socially distanced of course, from Brighton, East Sussex to Brighton, Michigan - a total distance of 6,000km.”

So far, the 50 boys and eight staff have covered over 1,000km and are hoping to hit their target by Easter. This won’t be easy, but they are determined to reach their goal. Head of House, Hugo Westwood-Dunkley and Deputy Head of House, Ned Bowen explained more: “It’s a big challenge but we’re really excited to see what we can achieve as a collective.

“So far, despite the bad weather, we’ve reached over 1,200km which is a fifth of the way. We’re also immensely proud to be raising money which we know will have a huge impact on our community. We hope that people can follow us on our journey.”

Rockinghorse bike ride - view from Ditchling Beacon SUS-210102-140813001

Holly Trezise, Schools and Community Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, is especially thankful when younger people choose to help the charity: “At the moment, a lot of charities are relying on the amazing efforts of people undertaking virtual challenges to raise much needed funds. But it’s especially impressive when it’s being done by our younger fundraisers who want to support other children going through challenging times. They understand the important role that Rockinghorse and the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital plays in so many young people’s lives and it’s fantastic that they want to help where they can.”

The school will be posting regular updates on how they are progressing with the challenge on their social media feeds and if you would like to donate, head over to the Just Giving website and search ‘Brightathlon’

And for more information about Rockinghorse and the work they do supporting sick babies and children throughout Sussex, take a look at their website at: www.rockinghorse.org.uk and for more information on Brighton College, visit their website at: www.brightoncollege.org.uk.