Coronavirus: Run For Heroes campaign beats fundraising target by millions

James Matthews, Scotland correspondent
·2-min read

A Run for Heroes campaign that set out to raise £5,000 for the NHS has smashed its total by millions.

The idea to raise money for the organisation that is on the frontline in the coronavirus crisis was the brainchild of Olivia Strong from Edinburgh.

It has had the support of celebrities such as Sir Mo Farah, singer Ellie Goulding and cricketer Jonny Bairstow.

The idea is that people use their daily exercise to cover 5km, seek a £5 donation, and nominate five others to do the same.

Olivia told Sky News: "I started the fundraising campaign because I was out on a run and I noticed how many people were also doing the same.

"I thought 'isn't there something in this?'

"If we're all out using our one form of exercise a day, why don't we put it towards a worthwhile cause and put it towards the NHS?"

"So I got back home, I thought £5 isn't too much of a big ask, 5km isn't too far to run and it still feels like a sense of achievement, and if you nominated five other people in your social channel to do the same then, hopefully, it would continue to spread."

More than half a million people worldwide have so far taken part in the fundraising campaign, raising more than £2m so far.

Actor and musician Andrew Jordan has run it three times, having been nominated by his brother.

He said: "I think it's a genius way of raising money and, to be honest, I was sat at home thinking 'how the hell can you make more money to go into the pot for this?'

"We've all got time and lots of us have got the energy, so we want to do as much as possible to help."

Meanwhile the organisers of some of the country's biggest mass participation events are launching a campaign to fill a £4bn black hole for UK charities.

The "2.6 Challenge" will launch on 26 April, which should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Organisers have asked members of the public to dream up a fundraising idea based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 or donate via twopointsixchallenge.co.uk.

The aim is to secure funding lost to UK charities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.