Virtual mass participation events raised more than £50m for charity last year

London Marathon Events has revealed the total figure raised from online events staged during the pandemic in 2020 to offset losses from cancellations and postponements due to social distancing restrictions.

This included £11.2m for 4,000 charities through the 2.6 Challenge in April 2020. The virtual event was staged along with other mass participation sporting event organisers to raise money for charities following the postponement of the London Marathon.

The Virgin Money Giving London Marathon was rescheduled as an elite only event in October with fundraising participants able to take part in their local area, to adhere to social distancing. This rescheduled event raised £36.3m.

Another virtual event to take place was Prudential Ride-London, which raised around £3m for charities in August.

Meanwhile, £1.2m was raised through the Vitality Big Half running event this March and the virtual Vitality London 10,000 during October.

“These funds have helped charities to continue to provide the critical services which are desperately needed by vulnerable members of society,” said Hugh Brasher, event director at London Marathon Events.

Virgin Money Giving executive director Jo Barnett added: “Whilst we’ve been hugely disappointed to see the delay or cancellation of so many mass participation events over the last 15 months, the commitment and innovation shown by London Marathon Events, combined with the determination and hard work of charities and fundraisers, means that supporters have continued to undertake all sorts of virtual challenges in aid of the causes that are so important to them.

She added that event organisers and the charity sector have “been nothing short of inspirational”.

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