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Last year the Burgess Hill Bike Ride helped raise funds for Headway East Sussex – here the cheque presentation. This year the event cannot be held (photo: Headway East Sussex).

Headway East Sussex launches fundraiser challenge

Since the coronavirus struck, many charities have been deprived of their main source of income – fundraising through public events such as the London Marathon, which was due to be held today. One such is Headway East Sussex, which supports survivors of brain injuries. Now they have got together with other charities in the same boat to launch the 2.6 Challenge to raise funds, as they explain.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on UK charities with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events.

Like so many charities across the UK, Headway East Sussex has been hugely impacted by Covid-19, with the Charity having to work in new ways to provide vital support to brain injury survivors.

Headway East Sussex has to raise £100,000 every year to continue to serve people living with a brain injury from towns and villages across the whole of East Sussex, Brighton and out to areas of Mid and West Sussex. But the pandemic has seen postponement of all fundraising activities including the London Marathon where the Charity had secured a place for the first time in its history.

In response to the impact on UK charities, 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.

The Headway East Sussex campaign, called ‘Keeping in Touch, Staying Connected’, part of the nationwide 2.6 Challenge, launches on Sunday 26 April – this 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.

Follow the guidelines!

The 2.6 Challenge, which will last for a week, is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity should follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing, remembering to stay local.

“Headway East Sussex is here to support people to live well but the charity itself needs support too,” says chair Michael Gaughan. “We are a fundraising charity and do great work with a relatively small number of committed, caring staff who understand brain injury well.

“Because of the challenges of Coronavirus we need to fundraise now more than ever before to keep the charity going. We are working hard to ensure people who have survived a brain injury get the help and support they need”.

Jenny Musgrove.

“Headway East Sussex started as one support group in 1988 and is continually changing to reach more local people in their own communities, putting down roots in new places so people don’t have to travel so far,” says Jennie Musgrove from the Headway Management Team. “The Charity is proud and ambitious, keen to carry on caring and to improve and grow.

“Our team is keeping in touch, checking in on the wellbeing of every client and helping everyone to stay connected, especially those who live alone. This is why our fundraising appeal focuses on keeping in touch and staying connected.”

Better understanding

“Many people living with brain injury feel isolated at the best of times, and the current situation we all find ourselves in means that other people now also better understand this feeling and we hope it will encourage them to show their support. The meaning of charity has never been more important – we need this appeal to secure more donations, more supporters and more volunteers.”

One client member, who was diagnosed with two brain tumours said, “When I’m at Headway I don’t have to explain and I don’t have to worry that the people I’m talking to are prejudging me. I feel welcomed, I feel loved. It’s a relief.”

From Sunday 26 April the team at Headway East Sussex is asking you to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise by signing up and creating your own fundraising activity on our Virgin Money Giving page.

The activity could be anything – from riding a bike 2.6 miles or 26 miles, to creating your own 26 question quiz and asking people to donate to take part. For more ideas on the activities you could do, see the Virgin Money Giving activity pack.

The mass-participation event 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 2media 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.


More information on the 2.6 Challenge here.

Posted 20:16 Sunday, Apr 26, 2020 In: Grassroots

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