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Family’s golfing challenge raises just shy of £150 for South Lakes carers

The Coxon family – Oscar, Billy, Clare, Will and Barney.

A Kendal family’s response to a challenge set up by the organisers of the postponed London Marathon has raised £147.66 for Carers Support South Lakes.

The Coxon family decided to use their new putting green as a fun way to respond to The 2.6 Challenge. The mini golf course was made by the family’s three boys during lockdown in their Burnside garden, as mum Clare explains:

“The 2.6 Challenge invites people to raise funds for their charity by coming up with a challenge, any challenge, and linked to the numbers 2.6 or 26; the number of miles in a marathon, plus the date the London Marathon would have taken place.

“So many charities are losing out on vital funds because of lockdown which has seen many fundraising events cancelled or postpones. We saw The 2.6 Challenge as a fun way to fundraise at home and make a bit of difference to our community.

“On Sunday we held a family chipping competition and asked friends and family to guess who would win and to make a donation in return. We each had 26 balls and we had to land as many as possible within 2.6 feet of the middle hole.

“We chose Carer Support South Lakes as our charity. When my Nan was diagnosed with vascular dementia my mum and dad stepped up and carried a lot of the caring load. We know lots of people who care for family members in a role that’s unpaid and often unsupported and unrecognised. That’s where CSSL comes in.

“They offer Carer Assessments, help carers understand their rights, and offer vital services such as counselling, group sessions, and a sitting service to give carers much-needed respite. And that’s not stopped during this pandemic. They continue to provide remote support by telephone, they’ve created an online hub with advice on wellbeing, guidance on going out during lockdown, and activities to try at home to keep minds and bodies active. All donations are put to excellent use in the South Lakes community so it makes complete sense for us to support them,” adds Clare Coxon.

Someone else who has been helped by Carer Support South Lakes, Heather Dearlove, completed the first part of a home-based challenge on Sunday too. Heather has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and decided her 2.6 Challenge is to cycle, on her magnetic bike, the Fred Whitton Lake District Cycle Challenge twice, a total of 226 miles.

The charity’s chief exec, Mike Seaton, says if 500 kind-hearted people like the Coxon family and Heather, could raise £150 each it would meet their funding shortfall of £75,000. And that it’s not too late to take part.

South Lakeland’s only carer support charity helps around 1,250 unpaid carers, aged between six and 98-years-old. A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a parent, partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, substance misuse or disability.

There are thousands of carers in South Lakeland. Many juggle work, school, or other commitments along with their caring role, and most don’t think of themselves as carers, nor do they realise the range of services available to help them.

For more information about what they do and how to help them please visit their website at https://carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk/

To support Heather’s challenge visit https://virginmoneygiving.com/HeatherDearlove1 and the Coxon family challenge can be found at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ClareCoxon.