Jailbreak is the charity event of the year, brought to you by Southampton Rag. You have 36 hours to run. As far away as possible, with no money. I caught up with last year’s winner Dennis Burnham, to find out how he made it to The Gambia.
WS: So you’d raised the required amount of money going to RAG’s three core charities, were you nervous about what was about to happen?
Dennis: We were a bit overwhelmed with all the other teams as they had all turned up in a wide range of crazy outfits for the challenge, we’d only turned up in our comfiest clothes ready for the journey. This made the both of us nervous, just wondering if everyone else had prepared travel beforehand, was that a thing? Last year’s winners reached Hong Kong, and had already confirmed their win before the event had even started with a free flight from Virgin. We had only had half a plan prepared, a short coach journey to Heathrow Airport but nothing from then on, I guess we were more curious as to what would happen.
WS: Did Heathrow give you any leads on where to go?
Dennis: We found ourselves a comfortable space in Heathrow and the doubt set in: What were we actually going to do? How were we going to win? We eventually decided on finding friends and family to help us raise money and find flights to anywhere. This continued for almost 7 hours, at this point we had lost almost all hope of getting out of Britain let alone winning.
WS: But your luck changed?
Dennis: We were sat eating our expensive airport food when we received a phone call from Jordan’s parents; our friends and family had secured us over £350 worth of donations towards our travel! With this news, we set about finding a flight to the furthest destination we could reach.
WS: That’s when you found flights to The Gambia?
Dennis: Yeah so after another hour of stressing we stuck gold, two return tickets from The Gambia for £350. We thought we actually had a chance of winning the event and scrambled quickly with help from some friends to get two train tickets to Gatwick and we set off hopeful that we were on our to a country far away.
WS: That must have been exciting, how did it feel to be jet-setting off to The Gambia?
Dennis: The thought of actually reaching The Gambia didn’t actually settle in, even when we boarded the plane. The shock finally hit us when we landed and received our 28-day tourist visas and a passport stamp.
WS: How did you find out you’d won?
Dennis: We found ourselves a small Lodge to stay in and settled to wait for the news who had won. It seemed like we’d lost, as the text took hours to come through, but when it finally did we couldn’t believe, we’d won!
WS: How did you celebrate?
Dennis: We decided to buy ourselves a bottle of local wine Wonja Juice and relax on the beach.
If you fancy yourself on some random beach celebrating with local wine, come along to the Jailbreak 2017 information meeting on Monday the 16th at 6:30 pm in 02/1089. You never know where you’ll end up.