Moderator urges people to take on the 2.6 Challenge for CrossReach

The Moderator of the General Assembly is urging people to help him safeguard the services provided by the jewel in the Kirk's crown.

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair is taking part in the 2.6 Challenge on Sunday to raise vital funds for CrossReach, one of Scotland's largest social care providers that he described as "Christian love in action".

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair
Stepping up for CrossReach - Rt Rev Colin Sinclair

The charity, which provides 70 services to people of all ages across the country, including 17 residential care homes for older people, has been hit hard by the suspension of normal fundraising activities due to Coronavirus.

The 2.6 Challenge is a UK-wide initiative which enables people to raise and donate money for charities of their choice.

It is inspired by the 26-mile London Marathon which was supposed to be held on Sunday but has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Mr Sinclair is encouraging people to take part by completing fun activities that suit their skills and abilities, within the constraints of social distancing, and feature the numbers two and six in one way or another.

He and his wife Ruth are raising money for CrossReach by climbing up and down the 26 stairs in their manse in Edinburgh for 26 mins each.

Practical care for people of all ages

Mr Sinclair said: "Social Care is under enormous strain because of coronavirus and CrossReach is not immune from these pressures.

"During my year as Moderator, Ruth and I had the privilege, as part of ‘CrossReach Week', of visiting a number of CrossReach services aimed to support and help people at every stage of life.

"We were immensely impressed both by the professionalism and the practical care that was on offer and gladly want to support them during this time.

"Here is Christian love in action that deserves our backing."

Fun activities to support life changing services

People could try and memorise the last 26 Moderators of the General Assembly in order, bake 26 cakes for neighbours, jump 26 times on a trampoline, donate 26 items to a foodbank or even sing their favourite hymn 26 times.

Other suggestions include drawing 26 rainbows in appreciation for NHS and care staff, writing down 26 things they are thankful for, doing 26 jumping jacks, running 2.6 miles in the house or back garden and wearing 26 pieces of clothing at once and working in them all day.

Social care for 150 years

The 2.6 Challenge is being organised by Just Giving and people are encouraged to donate what they can to CrossReach to help staff and volunteers continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Sunday is not a cut off point for fundraising and donations and people can continue giving afterwards.

Mr Sinclair, who will be speaking about the 2.6 Challenge on Facebook Live this morning at 10am, said: "People can donate directly to CrossReach through their emergency appeal via its website or through Just Giving.

Viv Dickenson
Viv Dickenson, chief executive of CrossReach

Established in 1869, CrossReach provides social care services to over 10,000 vulnerable people a year living in Scotland.

Chief Executive Officer, Viv Dickenson, said: "The 2.6 challenge will help fund CrossReach services through this difficult period.

"With many of our fundraising challenges being postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19 this challenge is a great alternative to help support our life changing services.

"It is a fun challenge which is open to anyone and you can be as creative as you like.

"All money raised will have a direct impact on the essential care that we provide, helping to supply vital resources so we can continue to help the most vulnerable people during these unprecedented times.

"I would like to thank the Moderator for taking part in the Challenge."