In October 2023, Oxbridge founder Matt Jones completed a gruelling trek across the scorching Sahara Desert to raise money for Acorns Children's Hospice. Acorns has three main hospices, based in Birmingham, Worcester, and Walsall, all of which provide vital care for children living with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Matt devoted himself to rigorous training, altering his diet, and building stamina to prepare for this daunting trek. Joined by a dedicated group of fundraisers, he embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to raise crucial funds to help Acorns Children's Hospice continue to provide unwavering support to children and families facing life-limiting conditions.

The charity requires an estimated £27,000 daily to maintain its services. Matt was part of a group that raised more than £120,000 collectively, and his own fundraising total has exceeded an astounding £6,000. Nort only that, but the journey provided Matt with an opportunity to gain a unique insight into the way of life of the nomadic Berber communities that call the Sahara home.

Fresh from his expedition, we caught up with Matt to relive the experience.

From hot coals to hot sand

This wasn't my first experience of putting my body through the mill in aid of Acorns. Last year, I walked across hot coals as part of another fundraiser, but this time, I really wanted to push myself and break out of my comfort zone. The Acorns Sahara Trek was the perfect opportunity to do just that, whilst also giving something back to this incredible charity.

Would I do it again?

Probably not! But that's not to say I won't continue to support Acorns and other charities in other ways.

The importance of organisations like Acorns cannot be stated enough. They are the essential support line for millions of people, both here in the UK and further afield, so I will do anything I can to lend my support in a heartbeat—except maybe spend a night in a desert with a grumpy camel!

What's next?

Who knows? I've been involved in all sorts of charity events in my life, which have all given me some brilliant memories. Anything that pushes me to do something a bit different and gives me an opportunity to meet new, inspiring people will always get me going!

Where can people donate to the Acorns Sahara Trek?

My JustGiving page is still active. I initially set the target at £3,000, which quickly came and went, thanks to everyone's generosity! We're almost at £6,000 so it would be great to beat that total, maybe even get up to the £10,000 mark!

A final word?

The Acorns Sahara Trek was amazing! I feel so privileged to have been part of a group that raised £100,000 between us for Acorns Children's Hospice and also share a life-changing experience together. If anyone reading this is thinking of doing some sort of fundraiser themselves, my advice would be to just go for it and embrace the experience - even raising a small amount will mean a huge deal to the charity you're supporting, which is what it's all about!

As well as the gruelling trek, Matt and the team undertook a noble community project in Marrakesh, assisting the locals after a recent earthquake disaster. True to his generous spirit, Matt dedicated his spare time to a local school, helping plan their curriculum and generously donating laptops, enabling progress for those with limited resources.

Matt's journey exemplifies his unwavering commitment to making a difference, not only in the business world but also in the lives of those less fortunate. As the founder of Oxbridge, Matt has demonstrated remarkable leadership and a dedication to charitable causes. His involvement in initiatives like the Sahara trek highlights his caring nature and willingness to go above and beyond to support communities in need.

We are incredibly proud of Matt's achievements and his dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of others. His adventurous spirit, combined with his generosity, inspires everyone around him. We are honoured to have him as a part of our team, and we fully support his charitable endeavours.