Planned and executed at break-neck speed, the 2.6 Challenge has had a both an inspiring and a humbling impact on Meningitis Now – not least because of all the daring, challenging and (let’s face it) sometimes bizarre things people have or are doing to help raise money for us and for other charities across the UK
During the day, and for the rest of this week, homes and gardens across the UK have been turned into gyms, stages, sports tracks and places of fundraising fun.
Amongst all the walks, jumps, starbursts and press-ups that people have done (and these are all fantastic), some people have also thought differently. For example, Kate Smith hopped 2.6 miles on a space hopper and Craig Yelland walked 2.6 miles in his full hockey goalkeeping kit. Tilly Lockey and Soheila Clifford are belting out 26 songs apiece, TV sports presenter Seema Jaswal showed her skill by playing tennis keepie uppie and 3-year-old Olivia walked the 2.6 miles in the company of her favourite toy Bagpuss.
Our founders are also out and about and taking on the 2.6 Challenge. Jane Wells (above left), one the original parents to establish our charity over 30 years ago, has donned her boots and is walking (responsibly - over 10 days!) the full 21 miles (26 with added on sections) that make up our annual Five Valley’s Walk. While Jane is no stranger to this event, which takes place every September, (she is often seen at one of the checkpoints) this will be the first time that she has walked the full route in over 20 years!
But of all the people showing their support in the 2.6 Challenge, the nation’s heart went out to 6-year-old Harmonie-Rose who appeared on Good Morning Britain to explain her 2.6 Challenge. Focused on doing 6 things that her mum, Freya, was told Harmonie might never be able to do, Harmonie more than proved herself as a very able gymnast, singer, and swimmer. During the programme, presenter Piers Morgan felt moved to double her fundraising total by contributing a personal £1700 to the pot and in doing sparked a national outburst of generosity that has seen Harmonie's total reach more than £68,000 to date! Support Harmonie.
Dr Tom Nutt, CEO at Meningitis Now commented:
“Like colleagues across the charity, we are simply stunned by the generosity of everyone who gave up their time to raise money for us and other UK charities at this difficult time. We are blessed in many ways by having a very close
relationship with all of the people we support and it is humbling when so many
of them, despite their own difficulties, be these meningitis or coronavirus in
nature, have done so much to help us.
“Sunday and rest of this week is a celebration of the great work that charities have done in the past and continue to do, despite the disruptions and tragedies of coronavirus. And finally, to Harmonie – you are a true star and an inspiration to us all - thank you.”