After providing Virgin with a team of medics and state-of-the-art equipment in 2014, Jigsaw went one step further this year and were one of the key sponsors of this year’s STRIVE Challenge.

In 2014, Jigsaw provided the ambulances, medical staff, and equipment, whilst a 10-strong team hiked, ran, rowed, cycled climbed from London to the summit of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The 2016 challenge picked up where the 2014 challenge ended and saw the core team of 25 (as well as several others) tackle a punishing 30-day journey from the base of the Matterhorn to Mount Etna in Sicily, all whilst being looked after by #Team Jigsaw’s expert team of medics.

The initial challenge was set up in 2014 by Sam Branson and cousin Noah Devereux and involved a team of people testing themselves via a series of ultra-endurance challenges, all to raise funds for the charity, Big Change.

Big Change was created in 2012 by Holly and Sam Branson and four friends to think differently about the role charity can play in driving positive change for young people across the UK. Big Change finds and supports early stage projects or charities that are rethinking the way of setting up young people in the UK so that they can thrive in life and not just in exams. To do this, rather than supporting one project or one idea, Big Change nurture a portfolio of cutting-edge projects providing skills, opportunities and support for young people to empower them to succeed. Big Change provides these project with seed funding, support, and connections to help them in their ambition to have an impact on the lives of the next generation.

Starting from the base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, the core team and the rest of the Strivers 66km into Italy! After successfully completing the gruelling hike, the team then undertook an even more gruelling 3-stage, 15-day cycle across the stunning, but deceptively mountainous Italian countryside!

For those that follow Jigsaw Medical on social media you will know that Team Jigsaw's very own Compliance Manager, Jan Pomfret completed the first cycle stage of the challenge. Jan cycled 750km (460 miles) up to an elevation of 7,740m so definitely no holiday, and according to the statistics, Jan was hailed as Queen of the mountains after proving her mettle on the torturous climbs!!

Whilst on the final stage of the cycling the Jigsaw Medical team came into their own when co-organiser Sam Branson and some of the other core STRIVE team took a particularly nasty fall whilst cycling on a thoroughly tricky descent!

Following the cycle came the final push up to the top of Mount Etna, meaning that in just over 4 weeks, the unbelievable Strive core team hiked for 5 days from the Matterhorn to Italy, cycled for three weeks over 2,000km on a bike, swam the Straits of Messina to Sicily, mountain biked to the foothills of Mount Etna, and ran an epic half marathon up the active volcano that is Mount Etna. All whilst being followed, looked after, and encouraged by the Jigsaw Medical team.

Jigsaw Medical CEO, Chris Percival stated:

“We are so proud of our involvement with such extraordinary people and such an amazing charity that helps so many lives across the country.”

And so, after all the preparation and training, there's not much to say, apart from, well done to all of the medical team involved and congratulations to everyone who took part. It was an incredible, enjoyable, and emotional 4 weeks!

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