Lincolnshire brain injury charity urges people to join 2.6 Challenge to make up for missing out on millions from London Marathon fundraiser

A Lincolnshire charity’s leaders have come up with a challenge to help overcome the huge sums that organisations like theirs are missing out on because of fundraising events being cancelled.

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 April 26, 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”, called the 2.6 Challenge, 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.

Brain injury charity Headway Lincolnshire, like so many charities across the UK, has been impacted by COVID-19. As a small local charity that relies entirely on voluntary donations, they now need public help to cope with a severe reduction in their fundraising income as a result of coronavirus. The charity is anticipating a potential drop of approximately £10,000 income over the next few months.

Headway Lincolnshire have had to cancel numerous fundraisers, group sessions and activities, as well as home and hospital visits. Facebook groups have been set up, allowing members who usually visit their support groups to interact, share ideas and most importantly, seek support. The charity’s popular services, monthly support groups, one-to-one assessment and carers group, now run through Skype and Zoom.

The charity is now providing weekly wellbeing telephone calls to their members and their families and also sending out wellbeing packs to brain injury survivors in the county. These packs include cognitive puzzles and other resources to help keep their brain’s active and engaged.

Ann-Marie Smith, Coordinator and Development Officer for Headway Lincolnshire said: “For 33 years Headway Lincolnshire has been supporting brain injury survivors, their families and carers – and promises to continue to do so during these difficult and uncertain times. We refuse to let the epidemic get in the way of our mission to improve life after brain injury and support those living with its devastating and life-long effects.”

They hope that supporters will join the 2.6 Challenge to help Headway Lincolnshire and those affected by brain injury in our community.

From Sunday, April 26, the challenge is to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise by donating to the charity’s Just Giving Page

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, or 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 to Headway Lincolnshire and Brain Injury Survivors in the county.

The campaign will launch on Sunday April 26 – 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-chairman 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-chairman 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 event’s 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 have been created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies are working for free. 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