I am absolutely delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 Next Challenge Grant.
I set up the grant three years ago to help people get into adventure. It started with me donating £200 of my own money. I then invited 100 members of the public to donate £2 each to double the amount I had to give away. Several other ‘adventurers’ then came forward, offering to match my funding and before I knew it, we had over £1,600.
That was enough to fund eight different adventures. In 2016 we got even more money and funded 17 adventures. And this year we have another 16 fantastic winners.
I challenge anyone to read through the stories below and not be inspired.
They range from the epic – like running from Italy to England – to the every day – like 12 mini adventures with a new baby.
We have runners, swimmers and cyclists with trips from two and half months (running the Munros) to a few hours (paddleboarding Lough Neagh and a marathon in Marathon). Our biggest award is £600 and our cheapest trip costs just £60.
There are people with disabilities and those dealing with depression. Some are investigating the aftermath of terrible events (Robin Lewis walking Japan’s east coast) and plenty more who are just having fun.
Some are gnarly (like running the Three Peaks), some are in unlikely places (like Long Island, New York) and several involve families.
The ages range from 55 to 4 (or 0 if you count Tom and Susannah’s baby). Winners come from India, Ukraine, Spain, Bulgaria and Japan as well as Northern Ireland, Lancashire, Sheffield and Kent.
In short, I love this list. It has warmed my heart.
A huge thank you to all of the adventurers who have supported the grant and every single member of the public that donated towards it. These adventures would not happen with them.
Winners of the 2017 Next Challenge Grant
Lisa & Libby – Cycling and running all the Scottish Munros – £600
Lisa, 26, Postdoctoral Researcher living in Sheffield (but currently taking a year off to have adventures like this one and travel)
Libby, 29, Civil Servant living in Sheffield.
Wow! Thank you so much! We are so grateful that you have decided to support our project and to the donors who support the Next Challenge Grant. Your support will go a long way in helping to fund this challenge and give us the best chance of successful completion.
Since we came up with the idea of attempting a continuous self-propelled round of the Munros we have been working out how to make it work. We both managed to secure some time off work, written endless emails, kit lists and training plans. Recently we acquired a shiny red van as our support vehicle and have rallied friends and family into being support crew.
To make the trip affordable, we are lucky enough to have gained some kit sponsorship and to put the icing on the cake we now have this grant to help us too. Now the real hard work starts – our start date is now just under 3 weeks away and we are nervous and excited in equal measure and can’t wait to get going. However it goes, we are planning on making a short film about our adventure so look out for that.”
Robin Lewis – Walking Japan’s tsunami-affected coast line – £400
Robin Lewis, 28, British and Japanese, based in Tokyo. Humanitarian Aid Worker (focusing on natural disasters) and Green Technology (part of a team building the world’s most eco-friendly cruise ship!)
I’m absolutely ecstatic! This really means a lot to me. I’ve been working in areas hit by the tsunami (such as Fukushima) since 2011, and really believe that this can not only be the adventure of a life-time, but can also make a real difference to the people affected. I can’t thank you, your team, and the generous donors enough for this opportunity.
Tina Page – Running the Three Peaks – £200
Tina Page, 45, British, officially based in Lancashire but most of the time when not at work on a boat I can be found ‘at home’ in my micro campervan exploring the beautiful great outdoors.
I work as a host on a converted Dutch Barge boat in Europe, looking after people on cycle touring trips.
My 3PeaksRun Challenge is to link the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales on an epic, solo, self-supported 505 mile trail run through Britain with 33,500feet of uphill stuff! ( that’s 808km and 11,000 metres to metric folk), linking 22 great long distance footpaths, local trails or shared cycleways. Running a marathon distance or more each day my mission is simply to celebrate the Great British outdoors and I hope to raise some money andawareness for Mountain Rescue Teams, Search and Rescue Dogs and Fell Protection Charities along tne way.
“I am so honoured to receive this grant award and the support and help of Tim. The Next Challenge Grant is such a fantastic initiative and I was very excited just to make it to the shortlist. As the challenge adventure draws nearer the nerves are growing that i dont completely fluff it up! I’m really looking forward to following the adventures of my fellow award winners too ”
Guru, Druthi, Dyuthi and Adithi – Walking in the Western Ghats – £100
Guruswamy Basavaiah (35) and his three daughters: twins Druthi and Dyuthi (4) and their older sister Adithi (8), all live in India. Guru is an engineer and his children are all studying.
I always wanted to take my daughters out for a small trek like this, I had planned but it was never realised due to one or the other reason. This time i have a definite reason to go out with them for trek. Walking in between the green nature from horanadu to Balehole for 2 days during monsoon on the side road of Badra river will be memorable for us.
Starting from June 1st, daily morning I was looking my inbox for your mail. Finally i got it. With excitement i shared the news with my daughter and wife. In turn my daughters shared this news with ever one they talked with on June 13th. Thank you”
Tom and Susannah – 12 adventures with a newborn – £100
We are Tom (Age 30, Biology Teacher), Susannah (Age 30, Soon to be mother) and Baby Britten (Age (and name) coming soon) from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
Super surprised to hear from you!! We were happy enough just making the shortlist!! It’s really cool that you’re supporting us on our adventure into parenthood – hopefully we’re up to the challenge and can inspire other parents to get out and adventure too!
We’re hoping to go on at least 1 microadventure a month starting when our baby arrives, starting small and getting bigger as our baby grows!! This will also involve starting local and then spreading our wings all over the UK. All with our bonkers dogs in tow (1 hobbly old Labrador and 1 very bouncy Springer Spaniel)
Gordon Macrae – Walking the length of Long Island – £100
Gordon MacRae, 30, Product Manager. Originally from Guernsey, Gordon currently lives in New York and he is writing a book about the beaches of NYC in his spare time.
When you think of New York City, you don’t think about the city’s beaches. But there is over 100 miles of coastline accessible from New York City.
Walking the length of Long Island, from Rockaway Beach in the city to Montauk, I will hike the beaches to follow the coastline along the southern edge of Long Island.
Emily and Lua – Paddling boarding every lake in the Lake District – £100
Emily and Lua, 39 and 6, British and living in Cumbria. Emily is a teacher and Lua a general chaos maker (school girl).
WOWOWOW!!! We are really thrilled to be a grant winner on so many levels. Obviously the financial help is awesome, but almost more importantly it gives validation to our simple idea and confidence to go out and do it. Living in Cumbria we are in the midst of an adventurers home-turf paradise.
Lua and I tried, and loved, paddle boarding on holiday and this is where the seed of this idea was born. Our plan is simple. This summer Lua (my 6 year old daughter) and I will travel the length of all the major 16 lake district lakes by paddle board.
Now to find the equipment and learn how to do it!!
Can you help Emily and Lua source paddleboards and equipment? Contact me if so.
Daniel and Fernando – Cycling Camino De Santiago on a tandem – £100
We are Daniel Campderá and Fernando Peñacoba, estudents of business at university. Both are 20 years old and we are spanish and we live in Madrid.
We will do an amazing trip, doing EL CAMINO DE SANTIAGO since Madrid to Santiago (700km) by tandem. It will take us about two intense weeks.
It isn’t only an sport trip, it is an spiritual trip and also I’m disabled (Dani) and i will show that limits are only in mind.
We are so happy and we want to say thank you to the donors and to Tim to give us this incredible opportunity.
Joshua Powell – Running a marathon at Marathon in ancient Greek armour – £100
Joshua Powell, 23, British from Sussex, Field Biologist and Geographer (Churchill Fellow 2017). Photo taken from the ‘1066 March’.
Whenever you get the go ahead for a trip that is just a little outside your current comfort limits, it’s always anoverload of emotions – but more than anything you feel phenomenally excited to be going ahead with it and that you’re going to need to push yourself beyond your current limits – which is exactly how I feel with the Marathon at Marathon.
Time to hit the gym…”
Valeriy Darmostuk – Walking the Tendrivska spit – £100
Valeriy is a 23 year old Ukrainian biolgy student. Her team mates are biologist Yulia (20), archeologistYevgeniy (22) and pedagogical scientist Irina (55).
We have conquered the highest peaks of the Carpathians in the Ukraine, walked across the swamps, forests and steppes, and even climbed into the mountains of Nepal and Georgia. This trip should be a new experience for our unusual team.
One of the greatest heroes of ancient Greece was Achilles. According to legend, he took training at one of the coastal islands of the Black Sea. According to Herodotus, the island was called “Achilles running” and his description corresponds Tendrivska Island Spit in the north of the Black Sea.
This picturesque seaside spit width of about 1.5 km and 70 km length. Currently, it is part of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve. We plan to walk the island for 4 days. The purpose of our trip is to draw attention to the unexplored and pristine beauty of the Black Sea, to provide cultural and ecological education to social networks and also add data on the biodiversity of the island. It will attract attention to the effects ancient Greece on the culture of Ukraine.
It is a great honor for us to be able to finance our trip. We are grateful to the organizers, donors and sponsors for the opportunity to finance. The idea of such trip came to us one year ago, but due to problems with transport, we could not make it. Finally this moment has come, soon, we will be able to walk those places where once trod Achilles, to see the old lighthouse, herds of wild horses and unforgettable views. Wish us luck.
Dan Keeley – Running from Rome to home (England) – £100 + kit
Dan Keeley, 32, from Sevenoaks, Kent. Occupation: Charity Partnerships Manager.
5 years ago (following a full-scale manic episode in Italy) I was diagnosed Bipolar. Now I’m setting out to run 1,250 miles from Rome to Home to share my story & keep men alive by talking. The adventure starts at the Colosseum on Friday 25th August 2017 and finishes 65 days later at The London Eye on Saturday 28th October.
The adventure’s entirely self-supported and is just as much an awareness-raising challenge as it is an adventure challenge. By using Rome To Home as a platform to share my story, my mission is to play my part in normalising the conversation surrounding mental health issues, to encourage others (particularly guys) to speak up when they’re struggling the most and who knows, perhaps I’ll inspire others to get out there and take on an adventure of their own! The adventure’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to take as many of you with me along for the ride!
Check out my website www.rometohome.com for all the info.
“This is mind-blowing! The £100 plus kit donations mean more to me than you realise. The support I’ve received towards Rome To Home has just been incredible and this is yet another show of belief in all I’m setting out to achieve with the adventure. I can’t thank Tim and The Next Challenge community enough for their support and to keep you all updated once I arrive home (all being well) towards the end of October. Let’s do this!”
Joanne McCallum – Stand-up paddle boarding across Lough Neagh – £60 (full amount)
Joanne McCallum, 37, from Northern Ireland.
It was a lovely surprise to get Tim’s email to say that I would be receiving support from The Next Challenge Grant. I am planning to stand-up paddle board around the circumference of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, the largest lake in the British Isles.
The shore line is approximately 125km, so it will take a few days depending on the wind/weather. I will hopefully get the chance to camp out on one or two of the islands along the way.
I’m excited for taking this challenge on and will be raising money for charity, as well as hopefully showing people that adventures aren’t all about needing lots of money and flying to the other side of the world. They’re about getting out your front door, with whatever you have, believing in yourself and just going for it!
Megan Cumberlidge – Bikepacking the GR247 in Andalusia – £50 + kit
Megan, 27, Engineer who lives in Bristol.
In autumn of this year I am planning to cycle the GR247 path in Spain. Receiving this grant has really given me the encouragement that I need to take the leap into the world of bikepacking. I can’t wait to explore the mountains and villages of Andalusia on my bicycle. Staying in remote refugios and practising my spanish in the tiny villages. There is really no better way to see the world.
(Don’t know what bikepacking means? See my article here – Tim)
Julia Wickham – Hiking the length of Portugal – £50 + kit
I am an ex at Theatre Stage Manager who broke free from the darkness of the theatre to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible. Now event managing outdoor events with Social Impact.
I am delighted to be one of the winners of the grant. I will start at the southern most tip of Portugal in Carbo de Sao Vincentes and start walking the Rota Vicentina. This Route will take me coastal and inland until just before Lisbon. From Lisbon I will follow the Camino Portuguese up to the border of Spain. I am planning to finish my hike in the town of Tui in Spain or Santiago de Compostela. The route I am planning should cover 1200km.”
Ivaylo Gueorgiev – Circumnavigating Menorca on foot – £100
Ivaylo Gueorgiev, 41, Bulgarian living in New York City, Studio Director.
My favorite mode of transportation is walking. I’m always looking for places rich in biodiversity when I plan a hike and Menorca is one of those special islands.
There are approximately 1000 flowering plants that grow on the small island of Menorca, 137 of which are found nowhere else. The challenge for this circumnavigating walk will be to photograph as many of the endemic plant species on the island as possible and bring social awareness to the threats facing the biodiversity of this isolated area in the Mediterranean. The circular route is 190 km, passing through numerous ecosystems along the coast.
I am absolutely thrilled for being one of the grant recipients and I can not wait to explore the island of Menorca!! Special thanks to Tim Moss for helping so many adventurers achieve their dreams and to everyone who contributed to the grant.
Gary Marshall – Swimming the Yorkshire coastline – £100
Gary Marshall, 39, Sheffield, Account Manager.
Being awarded this grant goes a long way to be able to make this swim a reality. I’m so grateful to have been chosen out of all the fantastic ideas that everyone had.
Taking on challenges like this is more than just pushing myself. I struggle with stress, anxiety and depression. Swimming is my therapy, it calms me down when nothing else will work.
I’m taking on the Yorkshire coast because it’s never been done before. After a couple of recce swims I can see why it hasn’t but I now have a good handle on what I’m going face over the 5-7 days I spend in the water.
The money from the grant will go towards the cost of hiring a boat for myself and my support crew.