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Taking on the 2.6 Challenge for Royal Star & Garter

Fundraisers have been coming up with inventive ways of raising money for good causes as part of the 2.6 Challenge. The initiative was set up to help charities, which are missing out on donations usually raised by mass participation events such as the London Marathon because of the coronavirus lockdown.


Nadia Rehman, Marketing & Communications Officer at Royal Star & Garter, has taken up the challenge with her husband Hamaad and four-month-old daughter Maryam (who may be our youngest fundraiser!) to walk a total of 26 miles for the charity. Here, she explains her motivation and the admiration she feels for the care provided by staff.

Although the world is currently in the midst of a crisis, the spirit of serving humanity has never been stronger. It was really important to us as a family and as part of our faith as Ahmadi Muslims to do our small part towards helping those who are vulnerable and in need of support. So, whilst still following the government’s guidelines for social distancing, we decided that there was no better time for little Maryam’s first fundraiser! We’re really excited to be raising funds for Royal Star & Garter, who provide such amazing care to the veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our country.


I know first-hand working for Royal Star & Garter over the past three years how dedicated each and every person is, from the housekeeping staff and the care team to the fundraising team (to name but a few). It truly is a family.


Now as some of our own parents are on the shielded list, we are all experiencing a real sense of what it may also be like for the residents that Royal Star & Garter care for. They are some of the most vulnerable in our society right now. Some of us may live too far from our parents to be able to look through the window to say “hello” and are now heavily reliant on platforms such as Zoom, Whatsapp video or FaceTime to connect with our dear loved ones. However, I’m aware that there are amazing people who are selflessly dedicated in delivering an amazing level of care to the residents across all three Homes so they never feel alone. These people will be forever remembered in history and their loved ones will be proud.


Maryam is our four-month-old daughter, and although she is far too young to understand what is happening in the world we think it’s important we involve her even now, and hope it will give her a spirit of empathy and a wish to help others as she grows older.


As we start the Holy month of Ramadan, it is especially important for us to be going that extra mile and giving to charity. It will be a strange time for us as usually we would be attending the Mosque for congregational prayers or breaking our fasts with family and friends. This year, we will be at home.


We will be cheering Royal Star & Garter frontline workers on during our daily walks, clapping with our neighbours on Thursdays and praying for everyone while at home, especially for those on the frontline.


Maryam, my husband and I will be taking part in the 2.6 challenge walking 26 miles to help raise much needed funds for the Homes. We will be walking between one and two miles a day during our allocated time for exercise and aim to raise a minimum of £2000.


As heart-breaking as this pandemic has been, there is hope that we will be living in a much better and compassionate world once this is over. We hear “when this is all over…” a lot nowadays.


Born in 1916 out of the international crisis of the First World War, Royal Star & Garter opened up its doors to care for severely disabled young men returning from war. Forward to 2020 and the world is in another international crisis, now more than ever veterans who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice need our support.


I guess we hope that “when this is all over” we did our best to look beyond ourselves and help someone else in need.

Sponsor Nadia and her family