LymeOnline editor Francesca Evans is joining the nationwide 2.6 Challenge to help save UK charities which are struggling to fundraise during the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of several of the UK’s mass participation events, including the London Marathon, have come together to launch the 2.6 Challenge.
On Sunday, April 26 – the day when the London Marathon was set to be held – people across the nation will be raising funds for their favourite charities by setting themselves challenges based around the numbers 2.6 or 26.
Lyme Regis journalist Francesca Evans will be launching her own challenge on Sunday, walking and running 26 miles over five days during her daily exercise time.
Francesca, who regularly organises events in aid of Cancer Research UK and Lyme Regis Football Club, is hoping to raise funds and awareness for another of her favourite causes – Steps Charity Worldwide.
Steps is a national charity working for all those whose lives have been affected by childhood lower limb conditions.
Explaining her personal reason for supporting Steps, Francesca said: “I have chosen to raise money for Steps, which works so hard to support children, their families and adults suffering with lower limb conditions, and helps with much-needed research into various conditions including Perthes Disease, which I have suffered from.
“Perthes Disease is a rare childhood condition that occurs when the blood supply around the hip is temporarily disrupted. My case went undiagnosed until I was 18, which means my hip joint has been left permanently damaged and one day will have to be replaced.
“Fortunately, I was able to have my first hip block injection just before ‘lockdown’, which has left me temporarily pain free and I’m able to exercise again! I’m really enjoying making the most of it and would love to raise some funds for Steps at the same time.
“My family and I have always enjoyed organising fundraisers for our favourite charities and local organisations, but due to the lockdown we haven’t been able to hold any events in recent weeks. It’s something we really miss so I’m looking forward to having a new challenge to focus on next week!”
Francesca will be walking and running the 26 miles between April 26 and April 30 during her daily exercise allowance, mostly on the quiet lanes, footpaths and fields around Lyme Regis, and taking into account social distancing guidelines.
She commented: “I’ll be covering just over five miles a day, which may not seem a huge distance, but obviously I wanted to stick to social distancing guidelines by not going too far or staying out too long each day, and I’m also conscious about pushing my hip too far.
“I’ve been going on long walks every day since the lockdown started, and have started running a bit too, and it’s become my favourite part of the day. It’s great being able to exercise again thanks to my hip block injection so I’d love to help others suffering with Perthes Disease and its after effects.
“I could never actually run a marathon but I can do this! I know it’s not the best time to ask people for sponsorship but so many UK charities really need our support at this difficult time, so if you are able to help with any donation – no matter how small – it would be greatly appreciated.”
Francesca has set herself a modest target of raising £100 for Steps Charity Worldwide. You can sponsor her online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Francesca-Evans