Jessie May calls on supporters to join the 2.6 Challenge from today

By Jamie Hill - 24 April 2020

Charity

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events.

The Virgin Money London Marathon alone, which should have taken place on Sunday 26 April, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, which raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019.

As it cannot take place as planned, its organisers have created a ”lockdown-friendly event” which is easy for anyone to join in and make a difference, especially for smaller local charities. Every small “event” can add up to something worthwhile.

Jessie May, like so many charities across the UK, has been impacted by COVID-19. The coronavirus has had a big effect on the voluntary income upon which they rely. They need an average of £80,000 each month to continue the hospice at home service. They currently receive 20% of funding from the government, for the rest, they rely on donations and fundraising from individuals and organizations. With major events like the London Marathon being postponed, and both companies and individuals finding it harder to fundraise for Jessie May they would be facing a significant reduction in their income if supporters weren’t able to find new, fun ways to fundraise for them.

“Jessie May nurses are still visiting the homes of those children and families who are in crisis or who need end of life support. We hope that supporters will join the 2.6 Challenge to help Jessie May continue our support to the community.” Chris Roys, Chief Executive.

From today, Sunday 26 April, the challenge is to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise. More information can be found on their website https://www.jessiemay.org.uk/twopointsixchallenge/.

Taking up the 2.6 Challenge can be something as simple as walking or running 2.6 miles, 2.6 kms - or 26 press-ups, 26 minutes walking round the garden. it can be a sponsored activity, or a donation - £2.60 or £26 - whatever is affordable - it all adds up and will make a difference for our hospital.

Jessie May nurse, and avid fundraiser, Steve Wiltshire and his dad, Neil, have already gotten creative with their fundraising efforts and have set up their challenge to ascend and descend the height of Mount Everest by climbing their staircases at home across 2 days. You can see more on their challenge here https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=steveandneilsmountevereststaircasechallenge&pageUrl=2

This kind of creativity, and commitment to supporting Jessie May, has seen them already exceed their £500 fundraising target before even taking on the challenge (which they will be doing on the 8th May 2020.

The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April 2020 – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon - and will last for a week. 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 and remember to stay local.

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.”

The mass-participation events organisers behind The 2.6 Challenge are: Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, 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

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