The 2.6 Challenge has now raised more than £10m for almost 4,000 different charities, organisers have said.
The fundraiser launched last month as part of the Save the UK’s Charities campaign and asked the public to raise funds for a charity of choice by undertaking any activity related to the number 26 or 2.6. It started on 26 April, the day when the London Marathon would have normally taken place.
The campaign was launched by the Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO) group, which includes London Marathon Events as well as other UK event organisers. They originally said they wanted to raise £67m, which is about what the London Marathon would have raised.
Hugh Brasher, co-chair of MSO 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 £10m. 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.”
Dozens of fundraisers raised thousands of pounds for their charity of choice during the challenge. Among the top ones was six-year-old Harmonie-Rose Allen, who raised over £73,000 for Meningitis Now by undertaking six activities 26 times, based on what doctors expected her to never be able to do because of the disabilities caused by meningitis.
Dave Roscoe, who is planning development manager at Manchester City Council, raised more than £58,000 for the appeal by doing a fancy-dress workout on YouTube.
Outlander actress Caitriona Balfe raised over £36,000 by running 2.6 miles for World Child Cancer, and taking on 12 surprise challenges suggested by fans, including drawing 26 portraits of Outlander characters.