70-year-old Felpham man joins The 2.6 Challenge with gardening fundraiser for hospice

A 70-year-old man from Felpham will be digging his way to fundraising success for Chestnut Tree House as part of The 2.6 Challenge.

Paul Sedgwick will be digging his allotment at part of The 2.6 Challenge SUS-200422-132407001
Paul Sedgwick will be digging his allotment at part of The 2.6 Challenge SUS-200422-132407001

Paul Sedgwick will take on the gardening fundraiser on Sunday, April 26, as part of the campaign which has been designed to help save the UK’s charities.

The 2.6 Challenge has been set up by the organisers of the London Marathon as a simple way for the nation to come together on Sunday – the original date of the London Marathon before it was postponed – and fundraise for their chosen charity by doing any activity they wish based around the numbers 2.6 or 26.

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For Paul, this involves digging an area of his allotment 2.6 metres by 2.6 metres in four hours.

He said: “I am 70 years old and enjoy gardening, so I’ve identified a gardening challenge that will take about the time it would take an average person to run a marathon.

“This challenge will be an incentive for me to get on with a job that needs doing whilst at the same time raising some money.”

Paul set himself an initial target to raise £260 for the challenge. He said: “I thought I would stay in keeping with the theme.”

But Paul has already exceeded this, and has set himself a new target of £520.

When asked why he chose to support Chestnut Tree House for his gardening challenge, Paul said: “Local charities are suffering without the income from events and fundraising activities. Chestnut Tree House is local to me and a very worthy cause.”

Chestnut Tree House has been impacted after being foced to close its charity shops with the vital funding they provide disappearing, while and community fundraising events large and small have been cancelled or postponed.

In order to continue providing hospice care to those who need it, the charity is counting on people like Paul to take part in fundraisers like The 2.6 Challenge.

Paul said: ““Anyone can take part in The 2.6 challenge. Just think about what you enjoy and think about how 2.6 fits in. You could make 26 cakes – or even 260!”

Like Chestnut Tree House, The Friends of Chichester Hospitals is also suffering.

Jane Ramage, Friends’ chairman, said: “The need to close the Friends’ Hospital Shop to protect volunteers, and the cancellation of this summer’s planned fundraising events means that income for this year will be significantly reduced.

“During the crisis, the Friends have received some thoughtful donations specifically for amenities to support exhausted hospital staff who are on duty for long hours and often cannot get home overnight.

“They are also funding additional life-saving medical equipment to help clinicians.

“We hope that supporters will join The 2.6 Challenge to help the Friends to help St Richard’s Hospital and our community.”

The Virgin Money London Marathon is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event and alone raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019.

As it cannot take place as planned, the ‘lockdown-friendly event’ has been created and is easy for anyone to join in and make a difference, especially for smaller local charities.

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.

Hugh Brasher, co-chair of MSO and event director of London Marathon Events., said: “For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year.

“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.”

To support Paul on his fundraising journey, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulSedgwick2

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge, visit twopointsixchallenge.co.uk

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