Coronavirus: Sussex charities urge people at home to take part in huge fund raising challenge on Sunday April 26.

A nationwide campaign has been launched to help support charities that have lost thousands of pounds due to fund raising events being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had a catastrophic effect with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events.

Many charities have had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society need them most, with thousands of staff having been placed on furlough.

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

2.6 Charity Challenge SUS-200421-132017001

As it cannot take place as planned, its organisers have created a ”lockdown-friendly event” which is easy for anyone to join in and make a difference, especially for smaller local charities.

All you need to do to take part on Sunday is dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 that suits your skills and complete it on Sunday 26 April – when the 40th London Marathon would have taken place.

This could be something as simple as pledging to run or ride 2.6 miles as your daily exercise, holding the plank for 2.6 minutes, to gardening for 26 minutes.

A number of Sussex charities are asking people to get involved and raise money for them during Sunday’s bug challenge.

They include The Sara Lee Trust, which aims to improve the lives and well-being of people affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in the Hastings and Rother area through the provision, free of charge, of psychological and counselling support, creative and complementary therapies, and therapeutic group activities.

The Friends of Chichester Hospitals is also looking for support. The Friends have been dedicated supporters of St Richard’s hospital, in Chichester, and local mental health services for seven decades, normally funding thousands of pounds of medical equipment and patients’ amenities each year. Thy say help is needed now more than ever before.

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge and how to take part visit twopointsixchallenge.co.uk

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.