Some would say packing a suitcase and hopping on a plane is the conventional way to travel over 8,000 miles, but not for the five UEA students who will be hightailing it from Norwich to Mongolia in two cars (one they call “Mildred”) and a motorbike.
What started off as a conversation of ‘what ifs’ for Will Vickers, Luke Phillips, Luke Dexter, Josh Melling and Edd Nabbs will lead them on an adventure to raise money for charity.
On June 11th this year, the students will start to make their way through Europe, down the Dalmatian Coast, north Turkey, into Georgia then Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea, into Kazakhstan and finally arriving at Mongolia.
They have based their journey on the internationally recognised Mongol Rally, developed by ‘The Adventurists’.
The fact that even they have described their journey as “crazy” on their website is a bit of a punchline, as these five men have chosen to support the UK mental health charity Mind, and will be donating 100 percent of their proceeds to the cause.
They told Concrete: “Firstly we feel that anything we can contribute will actually go towards services that can help someone in need, whereas in larger charities what happens with donated money is not always as transparent.”
When asked why they chose Mind, they explained: “Mental health is a huge issue on the agenda, especially for students. We thought, let’s raise some money for a great charity, and open up the conversation about mental health, especially among young men, where that conversation is quite often ignored.”
Team Norwich 2 Mongolia (N2M) said, “‘UEA’s outlook on mental health is all over the place.”
They added: “There is not enough funding for mental health services at university so a lot of people miss out…Norwich Nightline could be so much better…students often end up relying on external services.”
As June approaches, Team N2M are asking people to donate in any form, be that sponsorship, gifts, merchandise and services. They are also offering incentives for donations. Donating £10 will get the sponsor “forever emblazoned into our legendary journey”, with their name inked onto one of the cars, and £30 allows them to suggest challenges or punishments for the five guys to make, to keep their trip as interactive with UEA students as possible.
The boys’ fundraiser can be seen at: https://www.gofundme.com/norwich2mongolia