Run For Heroes campaign founded by Edinburgh woman raises over £1 million for the NHS

Run For Heroes – a recently launched fundraising campaign that encourages people to use their daily exercise to run or walk 5km, donate £5 and nominate five people - has soared past its initial target of £5000, raising a staggering £1 million for the NHS.

Since the campaign was first unveiled on Instagram on Saturday 28 March, over 50,000 people from across the globe have taken part so far including including Hollywood heartthrobs, reality TV stars, athletes, radio presenters, influencers, footballers and actors.

Run For Heroes was launched by Olivia Strong, a 27-year-old woman from Edinburgh, who hopes to raise money to support the NHS workers in their ongoing fight against COVID-19. All proceeds will be donated to NHS Charities Together – a national appeal which bids to protect the welfare of NHS staff and equip them to fight the virus.

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The social media campaign encourages people to use their daily outdoor exercise allowance to run, walk or cycle 5km whilst maintaining a safe distance from others. The campaign is also being developed to showcase at-home workout options for those preferring to exercise indoors.

Olivia Strong, founder of Run For Heroes

All participants are asked to donate £5 via the Run For Heroes giving page and then spread the message even further by sharing a picture of themselves exercising on Instagram, tagging @Run.For.Heroes on Instagram and nominating five of their friends to also take part and donate.

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The initiative has generated over £1 million so far , with donations continuing to flood in.NHS workers have expressed their thanks for the donations in a heart-warming video that was shared on the Run For Heroes Instagram account.

Olivia Strong, founder of Run For Heroes, says: “Our NHS workers are working tirelessly to protect us in this nerve-wracking time. I wanted to celebrate their efforts and raise money to help them continue the fight to save lives.

“I am overwhelmed by the response so far - what started as a small fundraiser with friends has grown into a global movement.“Run For Heroes has been a massive collaboration by everyone in the community from start to finish. My friends and family have been very much involved in the process.

“Most importantly though are the runners who have been running, donating and nominating from all around the world. They've come together for this worthwhile cause to raise money and awareness to those who need it the most.“I am so grateful to everyone who has supported the cause so far and I hope that the thousands of generous donations will help to make our NHS workers’ lives a little easier.”