When it comes to charity fundraising events, the UK has a long history and world-wide reputation. The oldest charity being registered way back in the 12th century! However, it was the 20th century that saw an explosion in huge numbers of the public getting involved in large fundraising events.
The first event that is seen as the beginning of this trend was the 1908 Olympics in London, the first Olympic event to be staged in the UK. The event included the first marathon to be held in the capital and was organised by a local athletics club, attracting a staggering 90,000 spectators. It proved so popular that it became an annual event, which now attracts worldwide media coverage.
Fundraising for charity was an informal affair until the London Marathon named its first official charity in 1984. The event now has one or two official charities that it supports every year. Over the last couple of decades, the charity aspect has flourished, and the event now includes over 750 charities, who are guaranteed 15,000 places in the race each year. Over three quarters of race participants raise money for charity, equating to over £50 million a year for charities across Britain.
As you can imagine, staging an event of this magnitude takes some organising. Security, administration, transport, media coverage and medical back-up has to be meticulously planned and co-ordinated for the event to run smoothly. Any outdoor event, whether the London Marathon or a local fundraising event needs an emergency medical presence. For Event Medical Cover, think about outdoor medical solutions provide event medical cover across the UK.
Another large running event that has grown in popularity is the Great North Run, which first took place in Newcastle and attracted 12,000 runners. Now the event regularly sees numbers of in excess of 56,000 with over half raising money for charity. It is the largest mass participation run in Britain.
It’s not just running that’s inspired people to get active for charity. The London to Brighton Bike Ride has now become the big annual fundraising event for the British Heart Foundation. It began in 1975 by members of a local cycle club and has grown in popularity ever since, now attracting over 22,000 riders a year.
The first ever women-only event was started in 1994, Cancer Research’s Race for Life. What began as a one-off fun run for 600 women has developed into the UK’s biggest grossing charity fundraising event, making more than £51 million a year. Since its inception, Cancer Research has raised a whopping £550 million.