A CHARITY supporting children with cerebral palsy is urging our readers to take part in a special fundraising challenge this week.
Stick 'n' Step, like so many charities across the UK, has been hugely impacted by the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, 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 2.6 Challenge was launched on Sunday – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon.
The challenge's form can be anything that works for you.
For example, you can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26-minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26-minute workout.
Among those urging our readers to support the campaign is Emily Riley, 23, who has attended the Stick 'n' Step centre in Wallasey since she was four. She has set herself the challenge to walk 2.6 miles on her walker to raise funds for the charity, which provides conductive education to children with cerebral palsy to help their independence.
Emily said: "When I was younger I was told to stop walking as it was unlikely that I would be able to walk by the time I was a teenager.
"Stick 'n' step has completely changed my life in many different ways.
"It has taught me many things, including how to walk, sit up and, of course, swim.
"All things that I thought I would never be able to achieve. But with the help and support of Stick ‘n’ Step I have achieved them.
"This is why I have challenged myself to walk 2.6 miles on my walker. This is a massive challenge for me as it is something I was told I would never be able to do."
Ellis Palmer from Wirral, was born with cerebral palsy and started attending classes at Stick 'n' Step to help him gain the skills he needed to live an independent life.
He is now a BBC journalist, currently working from home on Wirral.
He has just completed The 2.6 Challenge by cycling 26km on his handcycle.
He said of the challenge: "It was listening to the great stories on BBC Radio 5Live when I was preparing for my early shift that reminded me to do it.
"There's no better charity to do it for than Stick n Step, a conductive education centre that taught me the skills I needed to be as independent as I can be – things like putting on my socks, shoes and clothes – the little things that non-disabled people take for granted."
Jenny Snell, head of fundraising at Stick 'n' Step, completed The 2.6 Challenge with the help of her two young sons. The family completed a real marathon of boardgames – 26 of them in all – and raised £280 for Stick ‘n’ Step.
Amy Couture, the organisation's chief executive, said: “A large percentage of our funding is under threat because so many fundraising events have had to be cancelled.
"We rely on donations, so we really need your help. That's why we are joining the #TwoPointSixChallenge.
"You can do the challenge at your own pace in your house or garden so the challenge really is open to everyone."
Nick Rusling, co-chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) said: "We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK's Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart."
For more on The 2.6 Challenge, visit www.twopointsixchallenge.co.uk