Run for Heroes, a recently launched fundraising campaign that encourages people to use their daily exercise to run, walk or cycle 5km, donate £5 and nominate five people to do the same – has soared past its initial target of £5k, raising over £4.5million and counting to support the NHS workers in their ongoing fight against COVID-19. All proceeds are donated to NHS Charities Together – the national appeal which bids to protect the welfare of NHS staff and equip them to fight the virus.
Launched by Olivia Strong, a 27-year-old documentary producer from Edinburgh, the campaign has now far exceeded her expectations and, since it was first unveiled on Instagram last month (Saturday 28th March) hundreds and thousands of people worldwide have taken part.
Olivia says: “It brings tears to my eyes to see everyone coming together for the NHS and creating a community of positivity and support during this time. Initially, the goal was to raise £5k. Now we’re sitting on £4.5million which is just incredible. I cannot thank all the people who have participated in the campaign enough. They’ve spread the word to over 800,000 runners globally! I am also so grateful to all the initial runners who kickstarted it! As well as my friends and family who are very much behind the campaign too.”
Some famous faces have joined in sharing their sweaty selfies and supporting the cause including Sir Mo Farah, Princess Eugenie, singer Ellie Goulding, footballer John Terry, cricketer Johnny Bairstow, radio and TV presenters Nick Grimshaw, Clara Amfo and Chris Moyles, Olympic athlete Lynsey Sharp and influencers such as Proudlock, Andy Jordan, Bella Mackie and Stefanie Williams.
We’ve seen some incredible efforts in recent times with the likes of Captain Tom Moore and amazingly, the donations continue to flood in for both, whilst the combined distance ran by participants for Run For Heroes alone equates to more than the distance to the moon and back.
Over 800,000 people have taken on the challenge so far. Olivia is determined to encourage more to put on their trainers, get outside for their 5k and donate to hit her new target of £5million, an incredible one thousand times the original goal of £5k. On 14th April a massive £477,480 was raised in a single day, smashing Virgin Money Giving records!
Tugging on the heartstrings, NHS workers have even expressed their thanks for the donations in a heart-warming video that was shared on the Run For Heroes Instagram and can be viewed here.
It’s not only a fair-weather activity, either! Whilst the campaign encourages people to use their daily exercise to run walk or cycle, individuals have also developed at-home workout options for those preferring to get fit in the comfort of their living rooms.
No matter how you do it, all participants are asked to donate £5 via the Run For Heroes Virgin Money Giving page and then spread the message even further by sharing a picture of themselves exercising on Instagram, tagging @Run.For.Heroes and nominating five of their friends to also take part and donate.