Sheffield residents are giving back to charity as part of 2.6 challenge

Written by Jasmine Norden

People across Sheffield have found creative ways to raise money for charity as part of the 2.6 challenge.

Local and national charities have benefited from the efforts of Sheffield residents raising money by engaging in different activities involving the numbers two and six after the London Marathon was cancelled.

Emmaus Sheffield filled a Tuk Tuk with 26 different items from their charity shop and the formerly homeless people they work with, ‘the Companions’, pushed it around their yard.

Charlotte Fedorenko, Emmaus Deputy Community Manager, said: “It is important because it is replacing the list income from sponsorship through the marathon, but more importantly I think it is uniting people and giving so many more people the chance to help in a more fun way than just donating money.

“It has also really increased the profile of small charities like ourselves.”

Emmaus Sheffield have filled their TukTuk with 26 items for the 2.6 challenge

The Companions changed into a different fancy dress outfit with every lap of the yard where they live.

So far, Emmaus have raised £282, and hope to raise more.

The 2.6 challenge was launched to help the charities that have lost millions in income due to the cancellation of the London Marathon because of COVID-19. The event usually raises millions for charity every year.

Participants are encouraged to complete any activity that involves the numbers two and six, however big or small, to represent the 26 miles of the London Marathon.

Paces Sheffield, a school for children with cerebral palsy, have encouraged families of their members to engage with the challenge in whatever way suits them best.

One boy with cerebral palsy, Tobias Weller, has been walking 750 metres a day. Another, 8-year-old Lennie Street, has been playing 26 sponsored piano songs a week.

Spencer Pitfield, CEO of Paces Sheffield, has been running 5.5 miles a day to reach his own target of 26 miles.

He said: “I do believe it is more accessible because I think that people who would never get any where near the London Marathon have been able to take part.”

Across all the participants, £15,000 has been raised for Paces so far, according to Mr Pitfield.

The challenge has spurred ordinary people to attempt more than they would usually.

Keelan McNally, from Mosborough, ran a marathon yesterday to raise money for several charities across Sheffield without training in advance.

Mr McNally, 33, said: “I just wanted to raise as much money as possible for the five charities that I elected, just to support them because it’s a really tough time for them.

“I just wanted to do something and give back to the charities that are really struggling.”

Keelan McNally had done very little training before embarking on 26.2 miles on Sunday

Mr McNally has raised over £1,800 to be distributed between Sheffield Hospitals Charity, Sheffield Young Carers, The Trussell Trust, NHS Charities Together, and The Children’s Hospital Charity.

The marathon wasn’t initially for the 2.6 challenge, but ended up fitting well with the idea.

Many others across Sheffield have found their own creative ways to help give back to charity.

The 2.6 challenge has raised over £6 million across the UK already, without even counting those who have donated directly to charity.

The fundraisers for Emmaus, Paces and Keelan McNally can be found here, here and here.

Written by Jasmine Norden

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