Jill Henry joins Richard Branson on the Virgin Strive Challenge

A team of entrepreneurs, led by Sir Richard Branson and his son Sam, completed a month long Virgin Strive Challenge 2018 yesterday (Sunday), raising more than £1 million for Big Change Charitable Trust.

The endurance adventure began in Southern Sardinia at the end of August, and continued via mainland Italy and France to the summit of Europe’s tallest mountain, Mont Blanc. Among the participants was Jill Henry, a Scottish entrepreneur and the founder of urban cycle clothing brand Meander Apparel.

Jill said:

“I feel honoured to take part in this year’s challenge alongside some incredible people in aid of a great cause. The challenge is the toughest, yet most amazing and unforgettable experience.

“The stage of the challenge I was involved in consisted of four days cycling, completing over 100 kilometres per day, with 2000 meter climbs, followed by two days’ sea kayaking around the Alghero Gulf.

“During the challenge, an auction was held by the participants with all proceeds raised going to Big Change. Richard Branson modelled the Meander jacket, which sent bids climbing to £350 for a prototype. We were delighted with the outcome and pledge to donate further profits on pre-orders made via Indiegogo to the charity.”

The charity supported by the challenge, Big Change, was co-founded by Sam and Holly Branson and is a social impact accelerator that backs early stage ideas to help young people to thrive in life - not just exams. They are currently focusing on projects addressing school exclusion of vulnerable children, early years learning support, and teacher wellbeing.

Jill and Meander Apparel are based in the Business Incubator at Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University. They are currently developing goods from materials made from recycled plastics and offset their carbon emissions by planting trees in Scottish woodland.

Following the crowdfunding campaign, Meander Apparel will launch their e-commerce website in late October.
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