Optometrists encouraged to take part in the 2.6 Challenge this weekend

Sunday’s event will raise money for various charities, on the day the London Marathon would have been taking place

Fight for Sight
Optometrists are being encouraged to take part in the 2.6 Challenge this weekend, on the date that the 2020 London Marathon was supposed to take place.

Charlotte Wisdom, a Bournemouth-based optometrist, was supposed to be pounding the London pavements this weekend alongside more than 40,000 others. Now, she is calling on her colleagues in the optical sector to join her in donning their sports gear to raise money for eye research charity Fight for Sight instead.

The 2.6 Challenge is a fundraising effort that aims to assist the UK charities whose funding has been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The challenge is an opportunity for everyone to get creative and raise money for vital research -whether that means running 2.6 miles, doing 26 cartwheels, or climbing 26 stairs. The challenge is running from Sunday until 3 May.

Charlotte has chosen to raise money for Fight for Sight because of her experience of meeting patients with devastating eye conditions, and hopes that optical colleagues will get involved with the fundraising initiative.

Charlotte Wisdom
Bournemouth optometrist Charlotte Wisdom, who is fundraising for Fight for Sight

She said: “The London Marathon and countless other fundraising events have been postponed or cancelled as a result of coronavirus, which could potentially have a devastating impact on charities like Fight for Sight, who will not benefit from the government’s charity support package.

“I’m asking my colleagues and peers to join me in the 2.6 Challenge to get creative and have some fun while raising money for life-changing eye research.”

She added: “It’s all too familiar in my line of work to have to tell patients that I can’t help them as their eye condition doesn’t have a cure yet – Fight for Sight helps to change this.”

You can get involved with the 2.6 Challenge by taking part in an activity of your choice based around the numbers 2.6 or 26.

Remember to follow government guidelines on exercise and social distancing if you do decide to take part.

Chief executive of Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause, said: “We are so grateful to Charlotte and all our fantastic supporters who are taking part in the 2.6 Challenge this weekend.

“It’s important to remember that it’s not only frontline charities that the government and society as a whole relies on. People with sight loss and eye conditions depend on charities like Fight for Sight to invest in vital research to find treatments and cures for their conditions, which otherwise would not be funded.

“Eye research was already woefully underfunded, with only 1% of research funding going to this vital area. We need the help of supporters like Charlotte now more than ever to help us to continue the eye research pipeline throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

Fundraise or donate to support Fight for Sight via this link.