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Get set for a 2018 charity challenge

A woman tying up her running shoes

When someone you love dies, raising money for the charity or hospice that supported them and your family can be a meaningful goal. Getting outdoors, exercising and setting new personal challenges may also help when you are recovering from grief.

There are many charity events, fun runs and obstacle courses taking place throughout 2018, which you can sign up to and run, walk, swim or cycle in support of charities, including organisations which help the bereaved.

Some bereavement charities have their very own fundraising events to look forward to, while you can also sign up to other events on behalf of your chosen charity.

Here are 10 outdoor charity events taking place in 2018, which may inspire you to sign up to in support of children and families who are coping with the loss of a loved one.

Child Bereavement UK – Snowdrop Walk – February 2018

a toddler on a family walk

Child Bereavement UK is hosting a Snowdrop Walk to remember babies and children who have died, and continue its support for the children and families bereaved each year. This year the event is taking place in five different locations:

Snowdrops are available for purchase on the days, with charity staff and volunteers on hand to help with planting snowdrops in memory, in dedicated areas of the parks. There will also be treasure hunts and goody bags for smaller children. There's no need to book – check out your chosen snowdrop walk for times and further details.

Rainbow Trust – Winter Nuts Challenge – 3-4 March 2018

The Winter Nuts Challenge in Dorking is far from an ordinary day out in the countryside. With cargo nets, tunnels, slides and a bridge made of dinghies, this 7km challenge course is a fun way to help raise money for families who have a terminally ill child. By joining the Rainbow Trust team, competitors will receive a bright Rainbow Trust t-shirt and training advice.

To join the team contact the Rainbow Trust Sports Team on 01372 220031.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers – Rat Race Dirty Weekend – 12 May 2018

a runner slides through a muddy puddle

The charity for bereaved British Forces children, Scotty’s Little Soldiers has spots available on its team for The Rat Race Dirty Weekend, heralded as the longest obstacle course in the world. With over 200 different obstacles, challengers can opt to tackle the 20-mile course, go double the distance or complete a shorter 13-mile course. There’s a huge after-party for rat-racers who go the distance.

2 Wish Upon A Star – Wish On Wheels – 1-2 June 2018

2 Wish Upon a Star is a South-Wales based charity which supports people who are bereaved following the sudden death of an adult or child. They’re hosting a two-day charity cycle event for cyclists of mixed abilities to raise funds and awareness. The trail starts on June 1 in Haverforwest, riding to Llanelli for the overnight stop. The final leg of the trail goes from Llanelli to Miskin, finishing with the 2 Wish Upon a Star annual party. For more details and to register, see eventbrite.co.uk.

Cruse Bereavement – The Virgin British 10km London Run – 15 July 2018

image of runners'legs on a road race

Nationwide bereavement support organisation Cruse Bereavement Care has places available at the Virgin British 10km London Run. In return for your efforts, Cruse Bereavement provides a running vest and exclusive access to the post-race reception.

Lullaby Trust – Dog Jog – July to October 2018

An alsation dog on a walk

A dog jog is a fun way of keeping fit with your canine companion. The Lullaby Trust has a dedicated team to assist you with training and fundraising advice leading up to its events, which are taking place across the UK from July to October. Places cost £12 and include a ‘doggy bag’ filled with goodies when you cross the finish line. The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and promotes safer sleep for babies.

  • Brighton: 14th July
  • Southampton: 15th July
  • Ipswich: 1st September
  • Milton Keynes: 2nd September

Marie Curie – London Triathlon – 4-5 August 2018

Swim, run and cycle past some of London’s most iconic landmarks, while supporting Marie Curie at the London Triathlon. There are a variety of categories to choose from:

  • Super Sprint: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run
  • Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
  • Olympic: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
  • Olympic Plus: 1500m swim, 80km bike, 10km run

When you register for one of Marie Curie's charity places, you’ll be helping Marie Curie Nurses continue to provide care for people living with a terminal illness.

Samaritans – Thames Path Challenge – 8-9 September 2018

Walk, jog or run the Thames path from Putney to Henley, and fundraise for Samaritans. The organisation which offers free, confidential support to anyone going through a tough time, is offering a participant programme for those who choose to fundraise for them.

Simon Says – London to Brighton Cycle Ride – 16 September 2018

Competitors on a bike ride

Child bereavement support charity Simon Says is looking for daring supporters to take on the London to Brighton Cycle challenge on behalf of bereaved families. The ride covers 54 miles from South London to the Brighton seafront. If you think you have got what it takes and can raise funds in the process, get in touch with the Simon Says team.

Tommys – Swim Serpentine – September 2018, date TBC

Swim Serpentine is a new swimming event taking place in the heart of London. Join 5,000 other swimmers in a one or two mile challenge, to fundraise for baby-loss bereavement support organisation, Tommy’s. If you join Team Tommy’s for Swim Serpentine, you’ll be supported with fundraising and training advice leading up to the event.

  • Our Help & Resources section has details of charities around the UK, which support bereaved families, organisations and children who are facing a bereavement or coping with loss.