Posted on Thursday 16 April 2020

in News

CLIC Sargent calls on supporters to join The 2.6 Challenge from Sunday 26 April, 2020

CLIC Sargent, 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.

Take part in The 2.6 Challenge and help raise vital funds for CLIC Sargent.

The campaign, The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April 2020 – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one day annual fundraising event, which raised £66.4 million for charities in 2019. The challenge 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.

From Sunday 26 April 2020, we are asking you to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise by setting up your very own fundraising page.

As the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families, CLIC Sargent is dealing with a huge increase in demand for its social work support services from anxious families because of Coronavirus. This is set against a worrying picture for the charity, which relies on 100% voluntary funding and is facing a 60% drop in income from donations needed to fund this support.

Since the start of Coronavirus outbreak in the UK, CLIC Sargent has given out over £45,000 in hardship grants to families in crisis struggling to afford the essentials such as food and paying bills. Many were already at financial breaking point before the pandemic.

The charity is also fighting hard to keep its Homes from Home near hospitals open so that parents have somewhere to stay for free and be close to their child during their treatment. Staff at the Homes from Home, a ‘slipper walk’ away from hospitals, are seeing heart-breaking situations in some parts of the country where without them parents would have no way to be at their child’s bedside.

“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.”

Luke Mallett, Director of Income and Engagement at CLIC Sargent said: “Cancer doesn’t stop for Coronavirus and the young cancer patients and families we support are facing a real crisis. Our services are on the frontline and have never been more needed. Families are not only having to worry about cancer but now Coronavirus too.

“Families are in crisis struggling to afford the essentials such as food and paying bills. Many were already at financial breaking point before the pandemic. Some young cancer patients have had treatments delayed and we also have families facing decisions whether to have treatment or not, due to the risk of coronavirus to both NHS resources and to their immune system. It’s completely heart-breaking. They need our support now more than ever.

“CLIC Sargent will continue to fight to be here for those families but we urgently need funding to do that. We rely entirely on voluntary donations from the public but we are facing a staggering 60% drop in income which puts our ability to deliver these vital services at risk.

“We’re so excited to be part of the 2.6 Challenge and want to encourage as many of our supporters to take part. Whether it’s running 2.6 miles, baking 26 cupcakes or dancing for 2.6 hours – we can’t wait to see all the creative ways children and families get involved.

“A huge thank you to the Mass Participants Sports Organisers group and their partners for coming together to support CLIC Sargent and all UK charities, who are supporting the most vulnerable people in this crisis, to survive.”

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge and to sign up to fundraise for CLIC Sargent, click here.

Notes to editors

*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, an interview or images, please contact Jessica Browne on 077 4119 5055, or email Jessica.browne@clicsargent.org.uk.

About cancer in children and young people
Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent
When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.

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