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Will You Rise To The Challenge? Help Refugees This Fall!

On April 7th, the world watched Russel Cook (the Hardest Geezer) cross the finish line in Tunisia, after running the length of the African continent  in an incredible 352 days for charity. Over the length of this journey, Cook:

  • Completed the equivalent of 360 marathons

  • Went through 30 pairs of trainers

  • Ran more than 16,000km across 16 countries

  • And raised almost £1m (£944,000) for charity!

Let’s be honest - most of us couldn’t dream about doing that! 

But also, we don’t have to go at such lengths to help a charity.  Fundraising challenges like marathons, 5k/10k races and sporting events have become increasingly popular as effective ways to raise money for a charity that speaks to you. 

And right now, the humanitarian sector needs support more than ever.

As of mid-2023, the UNHCR estimated that the total number of forcibly displaced people reached a staggering 110 million. As the UN expects that 20% more people will need support from displacement this year than in 2023, now is a crucial time to take active part in supporting the humanitarian charities that deliver aid to refugees. 

A marathon runner's legs are the only thing in frame, as they run along a road. The runner is wearing blue and orange trainers and is mid-stride

Find a Challenge near you!

We think fundraising challenges sound pretty great, don’t you? And don’t worry, you don’t need to run the length of Africa to take part! We have put together a list of events happening this summer that YOU can get involved in: 

United Kingdom





A cycling race is shown with over 50 cyclists in frame, all wearing different coloured gear. They are cycling down a street as pedestrians watch from the sidelines

I can’t run 360 marathons! What can I do to support refugees?

Showing solidarity for refugees is an ongoing commitment that involves continuous actions based on advocacy, empathy and inclusivity - what that means in practice however can be different for everyone!

This is why our team this year has put together a list of accessible challenge events that you can take part in your home country, while raising funds in the process, and we want you to be a part of it! 

This fall, take part in a challenge event to show your solidarity with Indigo, our charity partners, and the refugee communities we support!

We encourage you to explore the valuable resources and support available for fundraising at the end of this blog. These tools are designed to help you make the most of your efforts and maximise your impact.

What is the appeal of a fundraising challenge?

Personal Achievement and Growth

Whether you’re running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or completing a triathlon, fundraising challenges push you to your limits. There is an immense sense of accomplishment and personal growth that comes from training for and completing a difficult challenge on behalf of charity. 

Not only are you allowing organisations such as Indigo to make a difference through your efforts, but the challenge itself helps you gain physical strength and confidence in your abilities!

Raising Awareness

Fundraising challenges are powerful tools for raising awareness about the causes you care about, such as refugee support. When someone takes on a daunting task like running across a continent, it naturally attracts media attention and public interest. This increased visibility can shine a spotlight on the cause they are supporting, educating the public and inspiring others to get involved. The story of Russell Cook, for example, not only raised money but also brought widespread attention to the charity he was supporting.

When you choose to run your fundraising challenge, get in touch with the Indigo team! With over 20k followers across our social media, we can help shine a spotlight on your amazing activities! 

Community and Support

Taking part in a fundraising challenge often brings a sense of community and support, as even if you are running a marathon alone, you are joined by hundreds of people running side by side! You can also join group sporting events or choose to run a race as a team, which fosters camaraderie and mutual encouragement. This sense of belonging can be incredibly motivating and can create lasting friendships. As an example, Chloe and Cem recently walked 5k to raise money for Indigo with a group of their friends!

Additionally, knowing that others are cheering you on (including the Indigo team) and that you are part of a larger movement can be a powerful incentive to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits

Training for and participating in physical challenges provides numerous health benefits. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and enhances overall well-being. Moreover, the mental health benefits, such as reduced stress, improved mood, and a sense of purpose, are significant by-products of training. For many, the structure and goals associated with training for a challenge can provide a positive focus and a sense of control.

Inspiring Others

Have you ever thrown a pebble into a pond and watched the ripples spread? That’s the ripple effect - a powerful reminder that even our smallest action can have a far-reaching impact. 

When you complete a fundraising challenge, your actions can have a ripple effect and can inspire others to take action: when people see someone dedicating their time and effort to a cause, it can motivate them to contribute or to undertake their own fundraising efforts. 

Tangible Impacts

Fundraising challenges provide a tangible way for you to see the direct results of your efforts in the funds raised for your charity. This sense of making a real difference can be incredibly fulfilling and can reinforce the desire to continue supporting charitable activities in the future.

As an example, for each £1 raised for Indigo, we create £23 of impact. So every £1 you raise you are helping us provide £23 worth of:

  • 🧤 Access to clothing, blankets and shelter

  • 🚸 Safe spaces where children can be children

  • 🤱 Support for pregnant and new mothers

  • 🍴 Hot, nutritious meals 

  • ⚕ Medical support to people on the move

  • 🏛 Assistance in navigating asylum procedures

  • 📒 Classes to empower communities and develop skills 

Let’s get started!

If those reasons alone aren't enough, listen to what our supporters say:

“If you are tempted to pick up your own running shoes, I couldn’t recommend running for Indigo more!”

In 2022, Jules ran the Berlin Marathon for Indigo and transformed every step into support for refugees. From working together on content and fundraising, Jules and Indigo worked as a team every step of the way. 

Watch her full testimonial here.

At Indigo, we also want to help YOU complete a fundraising challenge!

We have created a Fundraising Toolkit to assist you at every stage of your planning process, from setting goals and creating promotional materials to involving your community. So whether you’re a seasoned professional or it’s your first time planning a fundraiser, Indigo is here to offer support each step of the way!

The toolkit includes:

  • Step-by-step guidance on planning and executing successful fundraisers

  • Tips for effective communication and outreach

  • Sample fundraising ideas and event suggestions

  • Downloadable templates and resources

This is your opportunity to show solidarity!

Whether you take part in a challenge individually, with friends or with colleagues*, participating and raising money means you can have a HUGE impact.

Find out more by getting in touch with the Indigo team!

*Your company could very likely match the funds you and your colleagues raise. Find out if you work for a match-funding company here


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