We’re very grateful to everyone who has so far taken on a 2.6 Challenge to help raise funds for us at this time.

We’ve just heard that two friends who teamed up for a sponsored dance and cycle, have together raised over £450 for our homelessness charity, and we’d like to say a huge thank you.

On Sunday 26 April, Sarah Butlin and friend Anna Wright asked friends and family to sponsor them to support Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland. Burbage resident Sarah created her own “dance marathon” challenge, completing 26 fitness dance routines back-to-back in her living room, while dressed head to toe in leopard print. She persuaded friend Anna to come up with her own 2.6 idea for Emmaus. While Sarah danced, Anna cycled for 2.6 hours on an exercise bike in her garage.

Their efforts were part of the 2.6 Challenge, a fundraising initiative to support UK charities in the wake of the London Marathon cancellation. The national challenge launched on the day the marathon would have taken place, and asks people to think up ideas for socially-distanced activities based around the distance of the marathon, from running 2.6 miles to holding an online quiz for 26 friends.

Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland supports 16 formerly homeless people by giving them accommodation, meaningful work experience, funded training and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. Funds are raised through our two charity shops in Hinckley. The temporary closure of these social enterprises due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation poses a significant risk to our charity.

Speaking about her sponsored dance challenge, Sarah said: “It was tough going, particularly as the weather was so amazing outside, but I’m so pleased I did it.

“I was dancing for two hours and have the blisters to prove it!

“The 2.6 challenge is a great way to help small charities which are struggling due to their shops being closed. Living in Burbage, Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland is my local homelessness charity and the guys there are all great – always welcoming and up for a laugh. Each of them has been through a tough time in the past, but thanks to the support provided by Emmaus they are all working to get their lives back on track.”

Anna said: “Sarah knows I’m unable to resist a challenge, and as soon as she messaged me I started thinking about what I could do. During lockdown I have been cycling in my garage for around 30 minutes each day. The longest I have ever done is just under two hours so this was a real challenge for me. There were times when I wanted to give up but the sponsorship for such a great cause, and a playlist of songs that my friend made for the event, kept me going until the end. I managed to cover 77.7km in the 2.6 hours which feels like a big achievement.”

What could you do? Find out more about supporting Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland as part of the 2.6 Challenge