Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge launched

11th April 2024

A hardy team from Cumbria Community Foundation braved icy rain on St Bees beach  to launch an appeal for businesses to tackle a Coast to Coast challenge to raise money for communities in need.

Thankfully, businesses tackling the 171-mile challenge will be able to take part without braving the vagaries of Cumbrian weather and will be able to row, walk or pedal in the cosy surroundings of their home, office or gym.

Cumbria Community Foundation has launched the Virtual Coast to Coast Corporate Challenge for intrepid teams from Cumbrian companies to match the distance of one of the UK’s favourite long distance trails, the Coast to Coast walk.

Caroline Adams, relationships officer with the Foundation, was one of the trio to launch the challenge at St Bees yesterday.

“The weather was awful – it was like we were being sprayed in the face constantly with icy water, but it’s all for a good cause.

“With a bit of luck we will have dried out by the weekend,” she said.

The aim is to raise as much money as possible to help Cumbrians in need including disadvantaged children and families, older vulnerable people and fragile communities.

The Challenge is being run by Cumbria Community Foundation, as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.

Cumbria Community Foundation chief executive Andy Beeforth said: “This is a brilliant way for businesses and our corporate supporters to raise money for local causes.

“For 25 years, the Foundation, through generous donors, has had a positive impact on thousands of lives. This challenge will help us to continue to do so.

“We also hope it will be a fun way for businesses and their staff to join together and give back to their community”.

Cumbria Community Foundation is inviting all Cumbrian businesses and organisations to join in the fun. Each business will register via a team captain, with every team and team member getting their own fundraising page.

Money will be raised for Cumbria Community Foundation’s vital Cumbria Fund which supports Cumbrian people and communities in need, or for the business’s own charitable fund if they have one with the Foundation.

The inspiration is Wainwright’s hugely popular Coast to Coast Walk which runs from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay.

Participants can clock up the miles virtually by any means from walking to running, static bike to swimming to treadmill. The only method not allowed is cycling. Any steps done each day during the challenge count towards the total mileage, whether walking the dog, cleaning the house or doing the weekly shop.

Teams will have six weeks to complete the 171 miles, or as much of it as they can manage, between Monday 20 May and Monday 1 July.

That’s an average of four miles per day. Every mile completed and pound collected will help Cumbrian good causes.

Mileage covered each day can be captured by Strava or logged manually on the fundraising page and each team member’s supporters can donate directly via their page.

The fundraising page tracks each participant showing how far along the route they are.

Rory Black, Director at Designworks in Kendal, and colleagues are signing up for the challenge. He said: “The Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge is a great way to get people active whilst supporting a fantastic cause.

“The team at Designworks decided to take on the challenge because it is accessible and can be completed by walking, running, swimming, static exercise bike and rowing machine, so it has something for everyone. We are looking forward to getting involved and raising funds for individuals and community groups in Cumbria.”

CCF’s Cumbria Fund supports vital work across the county. Examples have included refurbishment of accommodation for homeless people, improving facilities for disabled people, contributing to staff salaries for youth clubs for disadvantaged children, a drop-in service for people with mental health problems, advisory services on tackling debt and benefit entitlement, and supporting access to services combating social isolation for older people.

If you are a Cumbrian business and would like to take part in the Virtual Coast to Coast Corporate Challenge, you can find out more at: https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/virtual-coast-to-coast-corporate-challenge-2024/

To register, please visit: https://register.enthuse.com/ps/event/CorporateCoasttoCoastChallenge2024

Find out more about becoming a Corporate Member of CCF here: https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/membership/corporate-membership/

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