Hitchin rotary club appeal as national charities estimate £4bn worth of funding shortfall

PUBLISHED: 15:22 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:22 22 April 2020

The Hitchin Hard Half Marathon has been cancelled this year, meaning Rotary Club Hitchin Tilehouse will lose out on a big fundraiser. Picture: Martin Wootton

The Hitchin Hard Half Marathon has been cancelled this year, meaning Rotary Club Hitchin Tilehouse will lose out on a big fundraiser. Picture: Martin Wootton

Martin Wootton

One organisation in Hitchin is urging people to support a national challenge to save charities, as one expert is predicting an unprecedented funding shortfall due to coronavirus.

The Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse has been hit as hard as every other charity during the current coronavirus crisis.

Forced to cancel the Hitchin Hard Half Marathon and their Spirit of Hitchin Gin Festival, the charity has lost two of their three major annual fundraisers – meaning they will struggle to support other organisations with food or mental health and social isolation support during the national lockdown.

Although members of the Rotary club are volunteering for the NHS, sewing kit bags for frontline doctors and have donated money, the charity are now asking you to get involved in a national fundraising campaign to give them a lifeline in these trying times.

The 2.6 Challenge, which starts on Sunday (26), will ask members of the public to dream up a challenge or activity based on the numbers 2 and 6, to raise money for charity.

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The challenge is open to anyone of any age, the only requirement being you follow the government’s guidelines on daily exercise and social distancing.

Nick Rusling, co-chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group, said: “The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you.

“You could run or walk 2.6 miles or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 26 minutes or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like.

“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.”

Nationally, thousands of fundraising events have been cancelled, including the London Marathon which was due to be held on Sunday, with a devastating impact on charity income.

Karl Wilding, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, estimates that the UK’s charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic.

Donate to the Tilehouse’s 2.6 challenge fund at justgiving.com/tilehouserotary

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