Coronavirus: Digital Hackney1000 fundraisers baked, danced and exercised to £21k

People baked to clock up hours of activity for Hackney1000. Picture: Theme Photos/Unsplash

People baked to clock up hours of activity for Hackney1000. Picture: Theme Photos/Unsplash - Credit: Archant

A community effort to raise £10,000 for a much-loved local youth charity has exceeded expectations under lockdown by raising more than double their goal.

The Hackney1000 was held between 2011 and 2017 on Well Street Common. Participants would run a total of 1,000 kilometres together to raise funds for Hackney Quest, which has worked to support the borough’s young people since 1988.

The charity hatched the idea of running the Hackney1000 virtually and safely under lockdown, with people able to substitute hours of an activity if they were unable to run.

Hackney Quest’s chief executive, Colette Allen, said he was “overwhelmed” by people’s enthusiasm.

She said: “We were amazed to have achieved 1,300 kilometres with our young people, staff, volunteers and friends running, walking, cycling and even cartwheeling to achieve and smash our target.

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“In addition, people baked, danced and exercised their way to 71 hours of activity and we raised over £21,000 to support our work during this time.

“It really was very heartwarming to see how people pulled together virtually and brought positivity and a thankfulness for our Hackney Quest community.”

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She congratulated participants and donors, from Hackney mayor Philip Glanville, who cycled the route of the Hackney Half Marathon, to young Jack, who did five press-ups, 100 burpees and 200 star jumps, and youth organiser Luke Billingham, who undertook a Spice Girls lip-syncathon while dressed as Ginger Spice.

Quest is working to help reduce the digital divide for people living under lockdown, and is still taking donations as it delivers food, toiletries and IT equipment to families during the crisis.

The charity has made an urgent call for donations of unused laptops and tablets, with many children left unable to access their schoolwork from home.

Allen added: “I was saddened to read in a report by Cape Mentors that 34 per cent of children and young people in the country have not accessed any work in the past eight weeks.

“We know this is definitely the case in Hackney and we are doing what we can with the support of the community and funders to supply as many young people as possible and so far have accessed and distributed over 30 laptops and 20 tablets.”


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