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About BYB Foundation
Rock Challenge® UK is presented by the Be Your Best Foundation.

The aim of the Be Your Best Foundation is to encourage young people to lead healthy lifestyles and to be their best without the need for tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.

Rock Challenge® UK is part of the Global Rock Challenge™ and is the foundation's main activity every year for promoting this cause.
The vision of the Be Your Best Foundation is to contribute to improving the quality of life for all of society by encouraging young people to take an active role in building safe and healthy communities.
To support initiatives that contribute to:

* the reduction of drug misuse and crime amongst young people;
* the advancement of education and - particularly - the education of children and young people in the value of discipline, hard work and good citizenship;
* the promotion of health and the prevention of sickness, particularly that caused by or related to alcohol, tobacco, drug use or any other aspect of modern lifestyles which are prejudicial to health;
* the provision of facilities for recreation and positive leisure time activities.

At the present time the sole project of the Foundation has been to facilitate the production and expansion of Rock Challenge® in the United Kingdom.
2014 has been another successful year for Rock Challenge®. Thousands of young people throughout the country have displayed enthusiasm, energy and commitment of the highest order and have provided a feast of exciting entertainment.

They have been supported by their schools, teachers, local communities, and parents, all of whom are an integral part of Rock Challenge®. The continued contribution of our volunteers and our sponsors has also been central to this year’s success and we thank them for their loyalty.

Everyone in the Rock Challenge® ‘family’ knows the difference the initiative makes to the young people involved and this has driven the achievements of this year and will stand us in good stead for 2015. Well done, everyone, and thank you.

George Cooil - Be Your Best Foundation Chair
2013-14 was another action packed and exciting year for Be Your Best Foundation; well done to everyone involved - all the feedback shows that it was another really successful tour. Around 20,000 students took part in 45 shows right across the United Kingdom, and 54 new schools joined us for their first season. We hope they will enjoy the Rock Challenge® experience alongside our regular participating schools for many years to come.

As ever, grateful thanks are due to all our sponsors, great and small, and to everyone - teachers, parents, friends and students - who has worked so hard behind the scenes and at home to enable the shows to take place to such a high standard. As ever, surveys show that the students who took part in the Rock Challenge® experience enjoyed it enormously and gained a lot from it, particularly in terms of increasing their own self-confidence and life skills.

And of course, no shows could have taken place without the experience, hard work and enthusiasm of the Be Your Best management and production teams, and the wise guidance of the directors - so a big thank you to them too. On to next year!...

Baroness Ruth Henig DL (Patron)
MERVYN BISHOP (Appointed 1/10/1999)
    Mervyn served as an officer in Humberside Police for thirty years retiring in November 2000. During this time he performed a wide variety of roles including membership of the Regional Crime Squad Drugs Wing investigating both national and international drug trafficking. During the later part of his service he was involved in community relations, the supervision of the Lifestyle project, management of several drug related projects and the introduction of Rock Challenge. On leaving the police Mervyn worked as a development manager for Neighbourhood Watch until taking over as the Chief Executive of Victim Support Humber in 2003. Mervyn is still with Victim Support but in 2009 his role was enhanced and he is now the Divisional Manager covering the whole of the Humber and North Yorkshire area. He has been involved with Rock Challenge since 1996 and has been the driving force in the Humber area.
JAN CLARKE (Appointed 27/9/2004)
    Previously a teacher for 25 years, Jan then worked as Health Education Advisory Teacher/ Healthy Schools Co-ordinator for Children's Services in Cumbria, a post she held for fourteen years until the programme was discontinued. Within the Healthy Schools Team Jan had responsibility for Sex and Relationships Education, Emotional Health and Well Being and Financial Capability. She worked at operational and strategic level particularly in support of the 115 schools in West Cumbria. She has also worked on behalf of the PSHE Association and as both National Assessor and local lead for the National PSHE CPD Programme.

    Jan volunteers in a local Infant School and is Chair of Governors of her neighbourhood Secondary School.

    Her interest in Rock Challenge® began in 1997 when the then Chief Constable asked the Education Department in Cumbria to develop the initiative there; that initial interest and enthusiasm has never wavered.
GEORGE COOIL (Appointed 19/7/2003)
    George Cooil’s initial involvement with Rock Challenge® was as an officer of the Isle of Wight Education Authority and as the parent of children participating in Rock Challenge® events. He has been a teacher, a head teacher, a school inspector, an Assistant Director of Education and an independent educational consultant. He has now retired.
PAUL GODFREY (Appointed 14/6/2004)
    Paul became involved with the Be Your Best Foundation through Ansvar’s sponsorship of the Rock Challenge®. He joined the Board upon retirement, after forty years with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, in June 2004. Having held various management appointments throughout the UK, with brief spells in Ireland and Canada and ten years in the City, for his last five years Paul was Managing Director of Ansvar Insurance Company - an EIG subsidiary. Being a Freeman of the City of London and a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Coopers, his City interests continue. Paul serves on a number of Coopers’ Company committees and is Chairman of both the Charities Committee and the Education Committee He is also a Trustee Governor of Strodes College, Egham and a Foundation Governor of Coopers' and Coborn School. Other charitable involvement is in care for the elderly and servicemen disability.
JUNO HOLLYHOCK (Appointed 27/5/2003)
    Juno is currently the Marketing Manager for Oasis Community Learning and was UK producer for the UK Rock Challenge® between June 1999 and June 2003 joining the Board of Directors in May 2003. Juno's professional background includes the management of a range of youth arts projects within wider young people's programmes and general event management of a range of large-scale projects. Juno is currently Chair of Southampton YMCA, Chair of the Southern Region of YMCA’s and Vice Chair of YMCA England.
IAN READHEAD (Appointed 18/1/2010)
    Ian retired as the Deputy Chief Constable of the Hampshire Constabulary in 2008 after 34 years with the Force. He was a member of the original Chief Police Officer group that initially brought Rock Challenge® from Australia. He now works for the Association of Chief Police Officers as their Chief Executive and Director of Information and is also the Chief Executive of the ACRO Criminal Records Office.
    Baroness Ruth Henig was senior lecturer in History and Dean of Arts and Humanities at Lancaster University until taking early retirement in 2002. She also had a parallel career in local government, serving for over twenty years as a Lancashire County Councillor, chair of the Lancashire Police Authority and as a local magistrate. She chaired the national Association of Police Authorities from its inception in 1997 until 2005, and served as a member of a number of Home Office and government bodies, including the Lawrence Steering Group, the Street Crime Action Group and the National Criminal Justice Board. She is now the chair of the Security Industry Authority.

    She received the CBE for services to policing in 2000, and was appointed as a Life Peer in May 2004. She is the Parliamentary champion for the Seashell Trust, of Cheadle Hulme and for Claire House children’s hospice on the Wirral.
    Lady Sarah McCorquodale became a Patron three years ago following her year as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, during which time she first became aware of Rock Challenge® and Be Your Best Foundation: she was extremely impressed with both the talent and enthusiasm on display.

    She is Deputy High Steward of Lincoln Cathedral and a Trustee of The Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial Committee. She is also Patron of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance Charitable Trust.
BYBF and Rock Challenge®
The functions of the Be Your Best Foundation in relation to the Rock Challenge® are to:

  • secure national and local, statutory, commercial and charitable funding for the event;
  • facilitate the formation of partnerships between relevant national and local commercial and charitable agencies, and
  • build suitable networks through which The Rock Challenge® can be extended towards the interim target of involving 500 schools and 30,000 young people by 2015.

These functions continue throughout the year and lead up to the production of the Rock Challenge® events that take place annually between February and June. the Rock Challenge® could not operate throughout the country without the financial support and expertise of the Foundation. The Rock Challenge® is an international anti-drug and crime prevention initiative that takes the form of a performing arts competition for secondary schools. It was introduced into the UK by the Hampshire Constabulary in 1996 and has since grown to the extent that 2014 19,717 students from 305 teams took part in 45 events staged throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Rock Challenge® delivers anti-drug and crime-prevention messages to the heart of teenage culture by using music, dance, fashion and media images that are familiar and attractive to large numbers of young people. The event captures the imagination of young people, providing them with an exciting and unique opportunity to experience the 'drug-free high' of performing in a supportive and professional environment with over 100 of their fellow school students, rehearsing in a supportive and professional environment and in the company of from 500 to over 1000 of their contemporaries, before then going on to perform their piece in an evening show that increasingly is played to sellout audiences.

The BYBF and its directors are convinced The Rock Challenge® is an ideal method of addressing the issues of drug and substance misuse with young people, allowing them the opportunity to see that by hard work, commitment and team work they can obtain a drug-free "high". Feedback from participating schools indicates that the use of tobacco products, alcohol and other drugs is reduced or stops entirely among participating students, Australian research shows that schools participating in Rock Challenge® have significantly lower proportions of students who have ever tried drugs or been drunk, and an independent report carried out after the 2009 National Grand Final not only supports these findings but goes on to point out that team members achieve higher attendance and higher staying-on rates than others in their schools.

Though the prime aims of the Be Your Best Rock Challenge® are drug and crime prevention, the 2014 tour again demonstrated the potential of the event to bring together young people and communities from different national and cultural backgrounds by continuing to attract entries from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, whilst the Global Rock Challenge® has spread from Australia, New Zealand and the UK into Germany, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan.

Participation seems to enthuse young Britons to take their performances even further afield. UK teams have taken part in the Rock Challenge® in Dresden, Germany, teams from Hull and East Yorkshire have travelled to Australia in order to showcase their productions, and a team from Farnborough has regularly travelled to Tokyo in order to perform at that nation's Rock Challenge®. We know also know that in 2015 a team from Dubai is travelling to the UK in order to showcase their performance at Stevenage.

Through the production of the Rock Challenge® the Foundation seeks to provide its benefits to all young people regardless of their ability or their social and economic situation.

2014 has been an amazing year and it is a pleasure to see the continued involvement of schools catering for students with special needs in the Rock Challenge®. The performances by these schools have been stunning and thoroughly enjoyed by their audiences. This demonstrates the accessibility of the event and its ability to provide equal and unique opportunities to every young person. Young people from these schools were able to take part on an equal basis with mainstream pupils and the quality of their performances and the enthusiastic response of the audiences bore testament to their ability and the dedication of their teachers and families.

In furtherance of the aims of the Foundation, the Directors continue to be keen to sustain and extend the Rock Challenge® in areas that are acknowledged to be particularly disadvantaged or deprived.

The Be Your Best Rock Challenge® event has been staged annually in the United Kingdom since 1996 and during that time has gradually expanded. Unfortunately the resources available to meet the considerable demand have been limited due to the difficulty in obtaining funding. If the Be Your Best Rock Challenge® is to continue and be able to extend its proven benefits to the maximum number of communities it is essential that its value is recognised and supported by secure and substantial on-going funding.

The Directors are also pleased to report the continuation of the extension of the Rock Challenge® into Primary Schools. 104 Primary school teams (involving over 5,000 participants) took part in 2014: some, without a Junior Event remotely near them, were still determined to participate, opting instead to do showcase performances at Senior events.

The Annual Review of the 2014 UK Rock Challenge - published by the Be Your Best Foundation charity - is now available for downloading as a pdf file. It's full of photos, facts and figures, and quotable quotes, and is downloadable from here ->

Foundation structure and contacts
The Be Your Best Foundation is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Registration Number 3553440) and a Registered Charity (Number 1077291). A Memorandum and Articles of Association dated the 27th April 1998 govern the operation of the Foundation. The Foundation is recognised by the Inland Revenue as an approved charity for tax purposes, the reference number being XR 33678.

Registered Office:
Be Your Best Foundation
Portsmouth Guildhall
Guildhall Square

Phone 02392 985 716