The 2.6 Challenge sets new record for charities

A record total of 3,961 charities got behind The 2.6 Challenge, making the campaign to help save the UK’s charities the biggest collective fundraising effort ever in the UK – and it is believed in the world – and the total raised has now passed the £10 million mark.

On Sunday 26 April, thousands of runners and spectators should have been turning the capital’s streets into a colourful carnival at the 40th edition of the London Marathon. Instead, across the UK, people of all ages were running, cycling, hopping, skipping, cooking, flipping, cartwheeling, bouncing, dressing up and having fun to fundraise in a uniquely British way.

The 2.6 Challenge brought joy to lockdown, dominating the news and social media as the nation united to help save the UK’s charities. Just 15 days after The 2.6 Challenge officially started on 26 April, more than £10 million has now been raised from a campaign that was created and delivered in just three weeks.

Her Majesty The Queen sent a message to Sir John Spurling, Chairman of London Marathon Events, to say: “Congratulations and warmest good wishes to you and all those involved.”

Organisers of the country’s biggest mass participation sports events came together to create the campaign to help save the UK’s charities which are facing an estimated £4 billion shortfall.

Hugh Brasher, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO) group and Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “This is an extraordinary success story. The first virtual meeting about The 2.6 Challenge took place on 3 April and just over five weeks later the campaign has enabled this record number of charities to work together to fundraise more than £10 million. This is an entirely new model for fundraising.

“We would like to thank everyone involved: the team that put the campaign together, the businesses and organisations that supported it and, most of all, every single person who came up with a 2.6 Challenge and raised money for their chosen charity.”

Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of MSO and CEO of Human Race, said: “Alongside the fundraising success, it‘s been so rewarding to observe how The 2.6 Challenge has provided a positive focus for the people and charities of the UK. At a time when isolation is a real issue, the spirit behind the Challenge has brought together families, streets, colleagues and friends.”

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 were created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies worked pro bono.

The campaign is supported by the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Small Charities Coalition, Sport England, Sport Wales, sportscotland, Let’s Do This, Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving.

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