There With You: Barking Blue Watch smashes NHS Covid-19 appeal fundraising target

Firefighters and officers from Barking Blue Watch have smashed their fundraising target. Picture: LF

Firefighters and officers from Barking Blue Watch have smashed their fundraising target. Picture: LFB - Credit: Archant

A team of firefighters has smashed its target to raise £1,000 for the NHS ahead of a sponsored marathon challenge.

Ten members of the London Fire Brigade’s Barking Blue Watch are due to complete a 26 mile relay using running machines on Sunday, April 26, when the London Marathon would have been staged.

In less than 10 hours of its fundraising appeal going online and thanks to 106 donors, Blue Watch has more than doubled its target. The total stood at £2,062 on Friday, April 24.

Station commander, Stewart Gordon, said: This goes to show the strength of support there is for the NHS and that people care about the cause.

“We’re incredibly proud to see the response we’ve had. I just want to say a big thank you to supporters and remind everyone to stay indoors, protect the NHS and save lives.”

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The crew will still be on duty and available for emergencies throughout the challenge. The proceeds will go to NHS Charities Together.

The charity supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients and has an appeal to raise £100million.

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The team plan to share the challenge on social media via the official London Fire Brigade pages as they become available with live streams and pictures of the run.

To help with motivation, Blue Watch hopes well wishers will post videos of themselves clapping from home, to recreate the feel of a real marathon with bystanders applauding along the route.

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The 2020 London Marathon is due to take place on October 4, 2020. The event raised £66.4million for charities in 2019.

Hugh Brasher, event director, said in March: “The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority.

“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many – the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year.”

Runners with a place in the marathon will be able to use it in the rescheduled event without any further payment.

Anyone with a place for the 2020 event and who chooses not to take part (or is unable to do so) will receive a refund of their entry fee or, if they wish, they may donate it to The London Marathon Charitable Trust.

In response to the postponement, organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the country have joined together to create a new campaign to raise funds for UK charities.

The campaign, The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday, April 26.

The public is asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to Save the UK’s Charities via

The 2.6 Challenge is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

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