Amber residents and staff in Wiltshire embrace the 2.6 challenge with a mini Olympics!

Amber residents and staff in Wiltshire embrace the 2.6 challenge with a mini Olympics!

Bythesea Lodge, Amber’s Wiltshire centre, has staged a mini Olympics as part of the 2.6 Challenge, a new initiative from the organisers of the postponed London Marathon.

The 2.6 initiative was launched because of the catastrophic effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on charities. At a time where they are needed the most charities have seen the loss of billions in income through fundraising events alongside ballooning costs and rising demand.

The Virgin Money London Marathon alone, which should have taken place on Sunday 26 April, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, which raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019. As it cannot take place as planned, its organisers have created a ‘lockdown-friendly event’ which is easy for anyone to join in and make a difference, especially for smaller local charities.

The Amber Foundation, like so many charities across the UK, has been hugely impacted by Covid-19. However, at this time of crisis, the charity has continued to house and support homeless and unemployed young people in the country at their centres in Wiltshire, Surrey and Devon ensuring that some of the most vulnerable in the country have a safe place to live throughout this pandemic.

Residents and staff at the centre have really embraced the 2.6 initiative and have staged 26 challenges held over 5 days all hinged around the numbers 2, 6 and 26.

The event featured a range of challenges so that as many residents as possible could get involved not just those interested in sports and fitness. The event kicked off with an egg and spoon race and a plank challenge but also featured welly throwing, and challenges involving drawing, blindfolded sandwich making and Karaoke!

Jennie Rubel, Bythesea Lodge’s Centre Manager, who has only been in her role for 7 weeks, has been really inspired by Amber’s work and the young people’s enthusiasm for the challenge.

“The young people and staff have been so welcoming and made my job a pleasure. I am so passionate about what Amber has to offer disadvantaged young people, and I love the organisation’s ethos and approach. When we heard about the 2.6 Challenge, we were keen to get involved. One of our residents has been amazing and has project managed the whole event, with the support of their Team Leader Clare. I am so impressed with how all of the young people got together to make this event such a success.”

Supporters of the Amber Foundation are being encouraged to do their own version of the 2.6 Challenge whether that’s 26 star jumps, 260 laps around their garden, 260 minutes of continuous crocheting or 26 hours drumming! Every small challenge adds up to help raise money providing a home for young people with nowhere else to go to and no one else to.

Stephen Ballantyne, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Amber commented

“You can get involved as an individual, a business, a family or even a group of friends. We rely on donations to continue our vital support for disadvantaged young people across the country and are seeing a rise in demand for places at our centres. This is why we are calling on as many people as possible to get involved in any way they can and become home heroes for young people with no home.”


If you would like to get involved in The 2.6 Challenge or support our residents efforts, please get in touch with Stephen on [email protected] or click here.