Oxfordshire Mind, like so many charities across the UK, has been hugely impacted by the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events due to Covid-19.
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 our fundraising and 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, we’re asking you to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise by creating a 2.6 Challenge fundraising page or donate to Oxfordshire Mind 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.”
Dan Knowles, Oxfordshire Mind CEO; “We are encouraging Oxfordshire residents to back The 2.6 Challenge, in aid of Oxfordshire Mind, your local mental health charity. People of all ages, and abilities, are taking on The 2.6 Challenge with a host of activities – from walking, running or cycling 2.6 miles, to holding online workouts with 26 friends. The ideas and options are endless, if you need any inspiration our dedicated fundraising team will be able to support you every step of the way (email@example.com or 07394 567360).
The outbreak of Coronavirus is affecting all our lives in different ways, and during these uncertain times we are seeing a surge in demand for our services. Last month we had a 360% increase in crisis calls to our Information Line, we will continue to be here for you, your friends, colleagues and communities. Our services are still running, albeit in a different way.
The Oxfordshire Mind Information Service provides mental health support, signposting and guidance: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 247788.”
“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.”
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.