Inevitably, perhaps, I have made the decision to abandon the #20in2020 campaign. However, The 2.6 Challenge has really emphasised how important it is to support so many charities who's incredible work does not stop because of Covid-19. In fact their work is more important than ever. I am asking for your continued generosity and to consider paying it forward for what will now be my #21in2021 campaign.
A real crisis for the charity sector
It is estimated that charities in the UK could lose up to £4 billion in revenue due to the Covid-19 crisis; and this is before we even consider the knock-on effect of long term damage to the economy.
The postponement of yesterday's London Marathon, based on last year's figures, will have cost £66.4 million in funds raised.
Quite understandably, people have been so generous in supporting the NHS recently, but the reality is that these charities need our support now more than they ever have done.
Whether it's mental health, homelessness and youth (the causes I'm supporting) or countless other great causes, the issues they are tackling won't be disappearing. In fact, when it comes to mental health and domestic abuse, for example, the issues are proliferated during this period of lockdown.
The impact of Covid-19 will be felt not just in terms of loss and bereavement; in fact, the shockwaves and wider devastation have only just scratched the surface and the charities who already have an infrastructure and influence are critical. And they need our support.
Most of you will know that I planned to complete 20 marathons in 2020 to raise money for four great charities. With races unlikely to take place for several months, and rightly so, I have taken the decision to postpone the campaign, replacing it with next year's #21in2021 - hopefully I don't need to explain the difference!!!
Of course, this will still be dependent on how we are managing and, hopefully, recovering from this pandemic on a global level but we should all be prayerful and confident that we have a semblance of normality back in our lives by then.
As I've said above, however, the charities I'm supporting need our help now if they are going to continue their life changing work. I do know that we are all being generous and that economic circumstances are difficult for so many.
All I would ask is that if you can make even the smallest donation, what I describe as paying it forward #21in2021, it could make a big difference to someone who needs it.
Here is a quick opportunity to remind you of the charities I'm supporting.
Mind, the mental health charity, saved my life back in 2005. They have been at the forefront of absolutely transforming the landscape around mental health and continue to change lives through lobbying and campaigning at a national level, and through their retail network. With their retail stores all closed through this crisis, and a huge amount of revenue lost through marathon cancellations, they need that support desperately. I am proud, of course, to have been a campaigner, fundraiser and ambassador for this wonderful charity over several year.
I wrote about Football Beyond Borders in a recent post. Their work is groundbreaking and helping to change the lives of young people. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, they have stunningly developed a Virtual School for the young people in their programme.
The Running Charity exists to change the lives of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across the UK. As with FBB, they are transforming young lives and their impact, through the Covid-19 pandemic, is critical to so many.
Heads Together is a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.
Paying it Forward #21in2021 - Thank you
It's a huge thank you from me for the support you have given me over the years. Running is a tool which has allowed me to help Mind and other charities transform lives in the way they were able to help me.
I know life is challenging right now but I would take it as a personal compliment if you were able to make a donation to these great causes.
And in 2021, I will deliver on the campaign that I promised for this year!
Finally, the all important link...
I thank you in advance with all my heart.