by Jay Unger
Leeds University students have been dusting off their passports in the hope of hitchhiking across the globe for charity.
Among those wishing to grab a free ride, final year English student Tom King, 21, from north Wales and Zoology undergraduate George Close, 21, from Guildford, are trying raise funds for the French charity – Medecins Sans Frontiere.
Mr King said: “We chose this charity because we think it’s not recognised enough. It directly translates as doctors without boarders, and they’re always one of the first organisations to respond and provide emergency medical care throughout the world, like the Ebola crisis.”
Mr Close added: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’ll be an interesting and hopefully fun experience, and it’s for a great cause.”
The long time friends will have 36 hours to get as far away from Leeds as possible, but with one condition; they can only rely on the charity of others.
Mr King said: “I’m a little worried about hitchhiking, particularly when it comes to trains and being kicked off. I know of someone who has been fined on a train because they were trying to do something similar.”
The ‘jailbreak challenge’ world record is currently held by two Cambridge students after they got in direct contact with Billionaire Richard Branson and managed to touch down in Sydney Australia, in 2013.
Budding zoologist, Mr Close, said: “I think Europe is completely achievable, we would love to get further but it’s all time dependent. If we make it to London in good time then we might try appealing to some charitable high fliers in airports willing to buy us a return ticket.”
The event has been approved by Leeds University’s students union, and organised by their raising and giving department in the hope of developing student experiences whilst fundraising for charity.
The hopeful hitchhikers set off at 9am today and will finish their challenge by 9pm Tuesday evening.