• Charities facing an estimated £4 billion shortfall due to Covid-19 pandemic
• The 2.6 Challenge begins on Sunday 26 April
Thousands of fundraising events across the UK have been cancelled due to Covid-19 with a devastating impact on charity income that means many charities are facing closure.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) CEO Karl Wilding estimates that the UK charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic.
In response, the organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the country have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help save the UK’s charities.
The campaign, The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April – what should have been the date of the 40th edition of the London Marathon, the world’s biggest one day annual fundraising event, which raised £66.4 million for charities in 2019.
From Sunday 26 April, the public is asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to Save the UK’s Charities via twopointsixchallenge.co.uk The 2.6 Challenge is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.
“The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” says Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) and CEO of Human Race. “You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like. We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”
“For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year,” said Hugh Brasher, Co-Chair of MSO and Event Director of London Marathon Events. “One of the founding pillars of the London Marathon was ‘to show how the family of mankind can be united’. We hope that The 2.6 Challenge, which starts on the day our 40th Race should have taken place, will embody that spirit and inspire people, families and communities to fundraise for their chosen charity to help Save the UK’s Charities. Right now, our vulnerable members of society need the help of charities more than ever before. We are asking everyone to create a 2.6 Challenge of their own and raise funds or pledge a donation.”
Paul Foster, Chief Executive at the Great Run Company, said: “The 2.6 Challenge is an excellent opportunity for all of us, and our network of amazing runners and partners from around the UK to do something to help the incredible UK charity sector at this challenging time. The spirit of the Great North Run is about achieving great things together. While we can’t be together right now, we can still join together virtually and support this great cause. By taking part in The 2.6 Challenge, whether it be through running 2.6 miles, kms, or minutes, whatever challenge big or small – we can all support charities who need our support now more than ever due to the fundraising they are missing out on with as many large events cancelled. We know our runners put in a lot of time, training and fundraising to participate in our events and we encourage everyone to take part in The 2.6 Challenge to help raise important funds for the UK charity sector.”
The mass-participation events organisers behind The 2.6 Challenge are: The Great Run Company, Human Race, parkrun, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events. The design and website has been created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies are working pro bono.
The campaign is supported by the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Small Charities Coalition, the Office for Civil Society, Sport England, Let’s Do This, Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving.
For more information on The 2.6 Challenge, visit twopointsixchallenge.co.uk