Interview with Gracie from Round The
UK On A Tenner A Day!
We're so super stoked to present our interview with Gracie Chick from Round The UK On A Tenner A Day! Along with being one of the most inspiring people we know, Gracie - who's 15 and lives in the UK - is also dedicated to helping out our generation. Hint: right now, her family is taking a road trip all around the UK to raise money for CatZero, an incredible charity changing lives. The catch: they can only spend 10 pounds a day - 5 for fuel, and 5 for food. Inspired yet? We know we are.
Before we get started, be sure to follow follow follow Gracie and her family on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook! Interested in donating to CatZero? Head on over to this link!
What inspired you to start your trip around the UK?
As a family, we've always seen the need to do something to make a difference in the lives and futures of others, but, although we've always tried, we've never quite known how. We've had a sign hanging above our table for years that says 'it's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness' and so that's what this challenge is all about - doing what we can to make the world a better place. I see so much negativity in the world around me and especially in my own generation and that only changes when people get up and do something about it (however big or small). So when we discovered CatZero and saw what a huge difference they're making, we decided to take on this challenge to support them.
Tell us about CatZero. How does it help change lives?
CatZero are working within the community in Hull (a city in North East England) and the surrounding area to give anyone in need the skills and opportunities to turn their lives around and build a brighter future. When you see the transformation, the way these people have, with a little help, overcome so much and become such confident, positive members of society with the desire to give back, it's just incredible. CatZero uses sailing (amongst many other things) as part of a wider programme to give participants life skills, self confidence, resilience, teamwork and the huge sense of achievement that comes from stepping outside your comfort zone. They provide the family and support that so many have never had. As I love sailing and am passionate about helping others, to work with CatZero in the future is my dream and something I aim towards every single day.
What does your average day look like?
Every day on this challenge is SO different, but this is a rough idea…. We wake up either on the side of the road somewhere (some places are absolutely beautiful, others not so much haha) or on someone's driveway (sometimes people hear about the challenge and invite us to stay with them, which is really kind and a great opportunity to meet and connect with different people all over the country). We then eat our water porridge for breakfast - we have a budget of £5 a day for food and porridge is only 25p for five of us! After I've done the engine checks, we'll then probably travel around 30 miles (that's how far £5 a day for fuel takes us). We stick as close to the coastline as we can and take it in turns to navigate.
Wherever we park up, loads of people come over to look at our very unique van - which is a 1968 Morris traveller that my dad and brother converted - and to find out about the challenge. It's fascinating to meet so many people of all different backgrounds - you can learn so much!
Another huge part of our journey is stopping in the communities we pass through to visit people making a difference and bringing others together in their local area. We meet up with them, find out what they're doing and then share their stories on our social media to give them a voice, spread some positive news and encourage others that they can do something to make their community a better place too.
Then we'd probably explore wherever it is we've stopped, talk to MORE people, do some schoolwork (maths, science, whatever projects we're working on), write posts for social media, do our jobs (finding somewhere to fill up water, etc), my sister Irys would edit her photos from the day and my brother Evan would edit and upload videos. I'm also keeping a journal of whatever happens on the trip so that I can write a book at the end of it.
After a low-cost dinner, we usually just chill, read, go for a walk or finish up anything that we didn't manage to do earlier :)
Was it hard to leave your old life behind?
Before we set off, I was a little apprehensive as to what this challenge would hold, but it has shattered all my expectations. We've experienced the good in people and the kindness of strangers and we've seen what can be achieved when ordinary people take small steps outside their comfort zone and do whatever they can to make a difference.
Not gonna lie, I do miss having a little bit more space, but that's what makes it a challenge!
Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited so far? A favorite memory from your trip?
We passed through some towns on the East Coast of Scotland that are almost completely forgotten by visitors to the area, people go straight past them or drive straight through and don't stop. They've gained a bad reputation for poverty, drugs and alcoholism, but we decided to stay there - despite what we'd heard. The locals turned out to be the friendliest, most welcoming and hospitable people we've ever met and the strength of their community spirit was incredible and so obvious. That is what they should have z reputation for. They've had their struggles, but they're coming together to help each other to overcome them and it's so inspiring. We made some great friends there and learned a whole lot about the definition of true community.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced on your journey?
We've had a lot of mechanical issues with the van (which we call Mo) and so there's been a whole load of drama and stress surrounding that, but even that has had a positive impact on our journey. We've met so many people who've been willing to help us out along the way. We've sat drinking tea with people, shared stories and made friends, it's all just become part of the journey.
What goal do you hope to achieve by going on this trip?
Our goals as a family are to raise as much money and awareness for CatZero as we can to help them continue changing lives, but also to encourage others that they can get up and do something to make a difference too. We're trying to spread positivity in a world so overshadowed by all the negatives and help build a brighter future for generations to come, including me and my brother and sister.
As well as all those things, for me, this is about my generation - showing them that people do care and finding a solution to the struggles we face.
In your opinion, what is one of the biggest problems facing today’s youth?
Before we started this challenge, before we even came up with the idea, I knew I had to do something to make a difference in the lives and futures of my generation. So many of my friends and other young people I knew or heard about were, and still are, struggling and it breaks my heart. There's SO many issues that we're facing (from mental health problems to lack of self confidence and self esteem to eating disorders to trying to be someone or something we're not to drug and alcohol addiction), but I really do think that if our society put more emphasis on community and support, even on family, things would be a lot better. That's something I'm learning from the people I'm meeting on this challenge - you can overcome your struggles with the right support from people who really care about you.
Do you have any advice for young people hoping to make a difference?
Start small. It's so easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed, but if we just start taking small steps towards helping others - using whatever platforms you can to get your voice heard about what matters to you, reaching out to a friend who's struggling and letting them know you care, putting effort into your relationship with your family, joining other people already making a difference in your local community, using your talents and gifts to impact the lives of others, even just changing the way you think slightly. It's all steps towards a better world, steps in the right direction.
How can people looking to help you and your family get involved?
We appreciate any support people offer us so much and we'd LOVE it if you'd like to get involved! You can donate to CatZero by following the link I'll put below, follow us on social media (we're Round The UK On A Tenner A Day on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) or if you live in the UK, get in touch, we may even bump into you at some point on our journey! Most of all, we hope that we and the incredible people we meet on our challenge, inspire you to do what you can to make a difference.
Giving page - uk.virginmoneygiving.com/roundtheukonatenneraday
If you could ask yourself any question, what would it be, and could you please answer it?
Ooo I don't know ...you've asked all the right questions already! Maybe - What inspires you to keep going when things get tough?
My answer would be all the people whose lives have been transformed by CatZero and seeing the incredible individuals they've become with a little help. It's wanting to make a difference to all the young people whose lives have been defined by their circumstances and have grown up without any hope for the future. It's reading the news about the world we live in and wanting to do something positive and to tell everyone about the good that's already out there.