What is the Virtual Challenge?

Challenge yourself this year by travelling the distance between our hospitals your way! You will have 1 month from registering to travel the distance picked, and fundraise for the ward, department or appeal of your choice. Pick the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity cause closest to your heart and become a Challenge Champion!

Key Event Information
  • Signing up – register for free to take part
  • When can I sign up – You can sign up any time throughout the year until Wednesday 4 December 2024
  • The challenge – pick one of the four distances below and complete it in one month

Ipswich Hospital to Colchester Hospital: 20 miles / 33 km / 44,882 steps

Essex Sites: 33 miles / 53 km / 74,055 steps

Suffolk Sites: 45 miles / 73 km / 100,985 steps

All Sites: 83 miles / 134 km / 186,260 steps

  • How can I complete the challenge – Your Way! You can walk, run, swim, cycle, row – it’s entirely up to you. The only restriction is that you must complete the challenge in one month.
  • Fundraising and rewards – there is no minimum fundraising target, but we recommend setting it at £100 to give yourself a challenge.
  • Tracking your distance – add your travels to your fundraising page by linking Strava, or by adding images of your journeys to your page. We've also made a handy tracker that you can download and print if your prefer a visual guide.
  • Under 18s – if you’re under 18, please ask a parent or guardian to register on your behalf. They will need to create a new JustGiving account using a unique email address. This can then be edited to have your name and updates on.
How does your fundraising help?

Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity is the official NHS charity of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. By fundraising for us, you’re helping to take care of patients and staff at your local hospitals and community sites – providing those extras that go above and beyond what the NHS can provide, and which make a vital difference to health and healing.

£5 could help us buy new items for the play areas throughout the new Children's Department

£10 could help to support counselling services so that people with cancer can receive additional information and support

£20 could help us fund our butterfly volunteer services supporting people at end of life when loved ones can't be near

£50 could help us pay for the very latest specialist medical equipment to improve patient care

Every donation counts – find out more about the difference your support makes here.

Together we make a difference

Is there a registration fee?

No, the Virtual Challenge is completely free to sign up!

We ask you to raise as much as possible for the ward, department or appeal closest to your heart, to help improve the experience of patients across our hospitals.

Can under 18s participate?

Absolutely! Under 18s will need a parent or guardian to sign up on their behalf, though. Once signed up, and the fundraising page has been created by the parent/guardian, the details can be updated to the under 18’s.

Please note – we will only communicate with the adult that registered the under 18, so please ensure you are sharing all the details with the participant.

Do I have to travel the distance in a certain way?

No, the way you travel the distance is entirely up to you! You can walk, jog, swim, cycle, row – any type of exercise that you can track a  distance across.

How do I track the distance I travel?

You can use fitness tracking apps such as Strava, or you can use your fitness watch (e.g. FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin) to track the distances digitally.

We have also created this handy printable tracker, if you would prefer to manually track your distances.

How fit do I need to be?

Health and fitness is unique to everyone, that’s why we’ve designed this challenge to be completed over one month and in your way. You can take the challenge at your own pace, which is why we’ve provided various distance options.

If you have a particular health concern then you may want to check with your GP or a medical professional to ensure you're fit enough to participate.

When can I start the challenge?

As soon as you register you can start the challenge. You will then have one month to complete the distance of your choice.

When is the latest I can sign up for the challenge?

The latest date you can register is Wednesday 4 December 2024.

Do I have to raise a minimum amount?

No, there is no minimum fundraising target, just to raise as much as you can.

If you want to set yourself a bit of a challenge, we recommend setting it at £100

Do I have to fundraise online?

Online fundraising is the quickest and easiest way for you to get donations from friends and family, but you can fundraise offline too. You can find physical sponsorship forms in our Resources section, or alternatively, contact [email protected] to organise coming to collect some forms from our Ipswich office.

How do I fundraise online?

Just head to JustGiving here to kick start your fundraising.

How do I pay in my physical fundraising?

Cash: You can pay in your cash fundraising directly into our Ipswich Office

Online: You can pay in your fundraising through our website by making a donation online. Don’t forget to write that it’s your sponsorship money in the ‘Donor Reason’ box

Cheque: Please make all cheques payable to ‘Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity’ and let us know that it’s your fundraising money. Send this cheque to Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 4PD

Who can I fundraise for?

We would love for your fundraising to support our Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity Fund which supports patients and staff when they need us most. Alternatively you can choose to fundraise for one of our current appeals: Cancer Wellbeing, Children’s Appeal, Staff Wellbeing or for the ward or department within our services closest to your heart.  Just let us know your preference when you sign up

Can I fundraise for other charities?

No. The  Virtual Challenge is an official Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity challenge, so the money raised has to go towards supporting East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.