THREE Oxford University students managed to win a charity challenge by getting all the way to Tokyo for nothing, courtesy of Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson.
Oxford Raise and Give (RAG), the university’s biggest student charity, hosted Jailbreak 2014 last weekend.
More than 200 students tried to get as far away from Oxford as possible without spending a single penny – and raised £44,000 for charity.
Teams had 36 hours to travel while relying on the goodwill of others.
Travelling by car, coach, trucks, school bus, emergency service vehicles, train, ferry and plane, participants made it to Stockholm, Warsaw, Mallorca and Lisbon.
The winning team, called No Rest Til Budapest, managed to escape Europe altogether – after bumping into Sir Richard Branson. The lucky trio, led by New College student Caitlin Place, met Sir Richard just before the event and he gave them return tickets to Tokyo.
Team member Robert Harris, who completed the trio with Charlie Parkes, said: “We travelled 6,000 miles in 18 hours, without having spent a penny.
“We may have had a relatively comfortable ride with Sir Richard’s support, but we certainly still got a good taste for the adventure of Jailbreak, not least when the Japanese immigration officer became extremely suspicious at our claims that we had nowhere to stay and that we were ‘running away from England’!”
Sponsored by friends, family and strangers, the three friends have so far raised more than £1,400.
The £44,000 raised in total by the event will be split between RAG’s four designated charities for the year – Oxford Food Bank, Education Partnerships Africa, Students Supporting Street Kids and Giving What We Can.