The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the charity sector and has led to the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events and the loss of billions of pounds in income which is normally generated.

The world’s biggest one-day fundraising event; The Virgin Money London Marathon, which should have taken place yesterday on Sunday 26 April, raised more than £66.4 million alone for thousands of charities in 2019. 

Many charities have had to stop or reduce their services, at a time when vulnerable members of society need them the most and it is feared that many charities will struggle to survive.

The campaign was launched on 26 April and is being backed by a number of high profile celebrities. The 2.6 Challenge can be any activity you like from running 2.6 to 26 miles in your back garden, to baking 26 cupcakes. Whatever your age or ability, you can take part and become a ‘Home Hero’.

So, this weekend, like many others across the country, I decided to do my bit and set my own 2.6 Challenge. Having the excuse of being 18 weeks pregnant with a rather large developing ‘bump’, I was somewhat restricted by my choice of activity (and rather relieved that my ‘bump’ got me out of anything too energetic!). That left me thinking. I wanted to come up with a unique idea that would help inspire others to get involved.

After deliberating over a number of ideas, my challenge was inspired by the fact that I live on a farm and I very quickly decided that it should involve animals. The most practical and safest idea (in my current condition!) was to fetch in 26 sheep and brand them ‘2.6’ using a washable spray maker. I also thought it would be a great way of marketing the event to others, especially when any passers-by happen to see a field of sheep with 2.6 written on them.

Little did I know it was actually going to be more challenging than I had first thought! Firstly, to catch 26 sheep in a field of 250, without a sheepdog, involves bringing the entire flock home and into the shorting shed. Then, put all 250 sheep through the run just to select only 26 willing participants. It is also harder than you think spraying the perfect “2.6” on the back of a sheep who refuse to stand still but with my little three year old helper, we got there in the end!

Lanyon Bowdler are committed to supporting a number of small local charities and like me, several of my colleagues decided to get involved and help raise some much needed cash for our five chosen charities; The Movement Centre, Cuan Wildlife Trust, Headway Shropshire, Herefordshire Headway and The CLD Trust.

Neil Lorimer, partner and head of our personal injury team has taken up running since the lockdown and has been doing the couch to 5k, so this was a great opportunity for Neil to progress closer to that 5k milestone by completing a 2.6 mile run (equivalent to 4k). Chanaleigh Hughes and Katie Little also ran 2.6 miles, whilst Sian Danford completed 262 laps of her back garden. Emma Broomfield walked 2.6 miles with her husband who also completed a 2.6 x 2.6 run.

Amanda Clarke spent 26 minutes jogging on her trampoline, Wendy Sharland baked 26 cupcakes which she donated to her local foodbank and Vanessa Ford completed 26,000 steps. Holly Edwards completed 26 burpees (ouch!), Kelly Stant climbed the staircase of her apartment block 26 times, and Keria Lorimer made her boyfriend Aaron complete 2,600 keepy uppies which he managed to do in 22 minutes. 

Debbie Brooks decided to make her 2.6 challenge a family affair and made everyone choose something to do over the weekend. Debbie completed 2.6 miles in laps around garden and up and down her drive while her husband did 260 laps. Their eldest son challenged himself to 260 press-ups in under 10 minutes and their youngest son decided on 26 upside down press-ups against the wall. Even Jess the dog got involved with 26 hi-fives!

You can see all of the photos and videos of our challenges on our facebook page.

I have to say, I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Dawn Humphries complete her 2.6 Challenge. Dawn, a budding yoga guru had set herself the task of completing 26 yoga poses, taking a sip of her favourite gin between each changeover!

How you can help

If you would like to support Team LB with our 2.6 Challenge then you can donate by following the link to our fundraising page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Lanyon-Bowdler

If you would like to join the country and do the 2.6 challenge to help save the UK’s charities then head to the official website for more ideas and information https://www.twopointsixchallenge.co.uk/.