Staff at Virgin set to take on huge challenge for charity, with a little help from Sir Richard Branson

David Buxton and Rob Skinn from Virgin Money

David Buxton and Rob Skinn from Virgin Money - Credit: Archant

Two teams from Virgin Money are set to take part in the 2014 Virgin Strive challenge in aid of Big Change, an organisation which provides young people with key life skills.

Members of the team from Norfolk include David Buxton, 33, from Thorpe St Andrew, Investments and Commercial Partnerships Director, and graphic designers Rob Skinn, 39, from East Ellingham and Andy Bobbin, 38, from Wymondham.

David said: 'We own Virgin Money Giving, the online fundraising site, which ensures all the money raised by those gathering sponsorship goes straight to charity. There's great synergy.'

The teams from Norwich and Newcastle will run 250km and cycle 3,200km between them and along the way they will be joined by Sir Richard Branson, his son Sam, who organised the event, and his daughter Holly.

David said: 'Richard Branson is somebody who always puts himself behind good causes.

'Irrespective of celebrity attendance, a lot of money would still be raised, but it adds a bit of kudos.'

The physical challenge of the endeavour is also important. It will include rowing, hiking and climbing as well as running and cycling.

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David agrees that participation in sports goes hand in hand with the Big Change ethos of teamwork and personal development.

'Sport unites people, it provides encouragement, a sense of what is ethical, and crucially it garners motivation' he said.

The route will take participants from London across the channel, through France to Verbier, followed by a hike to Zermatt, and finally to the summit of the Matterhorn.

The total raised so far comes in at just under £400,000 and places are available for members of the public to join certain legs.

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