A LOCAL charity supporting people living with neurological conditions is urging people to get involved in a new challenge from organisers of the London Marathon.

The Neuro Therapy Centre, located in Saltney, is missing out on important fundraising that would normally be generated by having a runner in the London Marathon on Sunday.

But, with the famous race cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the centre is encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in a new challenge created by the Marathon’s organisers.

This Sunday would have been the fortieth London Marathon but due to its postponement, organisers behind the event have launched a new challenge for the nation to join – the 2.6 Challenge which can be carried out at home.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenge events which we usually have people take part in to raise important funds for the centre have had to be postponed,” said Shannah Goodrick, Corporate and Community Fundraiser at the Neuro Therapy Centre.

“This is devastating to our fundraising income - which we rely on to keep going and support people with long-term neurological conditions in the region.”

The 2.6 Challenge is a lockdown-friendly event which starts on Sunday, April 26, and is encouraging people of all ages to take part in challenges linked to the number 2.6 or 26.

Shannah added: “This could be walking the dog for 26 minutes, doing 26 star jumps, running 26 laps of your garden or even walking around your house in fancy dress for 2.6km, roughly 3,412 steps.

“It is easy for everyone to make a difference with just a small fun action.”

The challenge will run for a week and activities can be a sponsored, or a one-off or regular donation can be given to the charity for taking part. The only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing and people must remember to stay local.

“For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year,” said Hugh Brasher, Co-Chair of MSO and Event Director of London Marathon Events.

“One of the founding pillars of the London Marathon was ‘to show how the family of mankind can be united’. We hope that The 2.6 Challenge, which starts on the day our 40th Race should have taken place, will embody that spirit and inspire people, families and communities to fundraise for their chosen charity to help Save the UK’s Charities.

"Right now, our vulnerable members of society need the help of charities more than ever before.”

The Neuro Therapy Centre has closed its doors until June 15 and is currently offering people with neurological conditions and their Carers a Virtual Centre instead.

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A gym instructor leading an at home work out

Over the last couple of weeks the centre’s team have been giving regular telephone support, telephone counselling sessions, have put together a package of exercises which can be carried out at home and, from this week, introduced a daily Zoom exercise class too. Money raised from people taking part in the 2.6 challenge will go towards this work and in helping the Centre to re-open in a few months’ time.

The mass-participation event organisers behind The 2.6 Challenge are: Human Race, Parkrun, The Great Run Company, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events. The design and website has been created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies are working pro bono. 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.

To find out more about the challenge and how to join in visit the Centre’s website at www.neurotherapycentre.org/2-6-challenge