The 26th of April was to have been a banner day for HorseBack. We were lucky enough to have a runner in the London Marathon. Before the coronavirus struck, we were all ready to start bigging up the incredible XX, who was in training to run the twenty six miles to raise money for us. As it is, all that had to be cancelled.
However, some brilliant people have come up with the 2.6 Challenge. We love this initiative, especially because its sub-heading is – Save The UK’s Charities. We are keenly conscious of the small charities all over the country who are desperately trying to stay afloat in these difficult times. People have put their hearts and souls into setting up organisations which might not be household names, but which make a huge difference in their communities. HorseBack is one such. We started with a dream, and we worked for ten years to fulfil that dream. We imagine that many in the third sector were just at the stage we were at the beginning of the year – hatching exciting plans for expansion, ready to put their work and experience out to a wider demographic. And then: wham! Everything stopped. For so many of us now, it’s a question of survival.
So the 2.6 Challenge feels like a lifeline. We’ve already put up a link to their website, and we’ll do so again. Essentially, you can do anything that involves the number 26 – run up and down the stairs twenty-six times, bake twenty-six cupcakes, eat twenty-six cupcakes! If your imagination fails you, you can donate directly to us, and we’ll do the challenge for you. Everyone on the HorseBack team is going to find a twenty-six, and carry it out over the next few days. We are plotting and planning to come up with some entertaining ideas, and we’ll video some of them for you, so you’ll have something to make you smile in these uncertain times.
We haven’t put up any fundraising posts since the lockdown started. We know that most of you have quite enough on your own plates. We are trying to use our Facebook page to offer something to you, rather than ask something of you. But we are asking now. If you press the Donate button, the minimum donation is £4. Every four pounds makes a difference to us, and will give us an extra spring in our step as we embark on our challenges.
Behind the scenes, Emma and Jock are thinking and plotting and planning to find ways to adapt the charity so that we can ride out this lockdown and get back into action the moment that restrictions ease. We’ve said before that our dearest hope is that we might be able to put on special courses for everyone in the NHS and perhaps for other key workers too. They are on the frontline, just as the veterans we help once were. Their service is beyond price, and deserves all our support. And we imagine that there will be some serious mental health fallout from what they are going through. This is where the work we’ve done over the last years can really come into its own.
So, if you feel inspired to join the 2.6 Challenge, we would be completely thrilled. (There is a central pot there, so any money you raise will be matched, which is an extra bonus.) Or, if you would like to support us directly, we will do our own twenty-sixes in your name. Here is to a great communal effort, and to a brighter future.