Naomi Bennett is running her 200th Marathon at the London Marathon 2019…This is her story…

‘Thank you checking out my fundraising page. I’m running my 10th London Marathon on 28/4/2019. It will also be my 200th marathon and possibly my 52 in 52 (52 marathons in 52 weeks), – 3 reasons to use this as a fund raiser!

I’m raising for Cherry Tree Nursery. Its a local charity – and its no ordinary nursery! A lot of you reading this will have been lucky enough never to have experienced any type of mental health problems – and like me have little or no knowledge of the issues people suffering these conditions face. But these are very real and debilitating conditions – did you know that research shows that in any one year one in four adults will experience a mental health problem? That’s massive isn’t it – 25% – just because you cant see it……..

Many people with mental illness want to work and be productive but they cant cope with the pressures of a standard job and the work environment. Cherry Tree offers adults with severe and enduring mental illness the chance to work in a realistic, supportive and non pressurised environment. Workers are known as “Volunteers”. SWOP (Sheltered Work Opportunities Project) aims to use the therapeutic nature of horticulture to restore self esteem and confidence thereby aiding recovery and rehabilitation.

SWOP’s first project was Cherry Tree Nursery and was started with 4 volunteers in 1990. They now have 120 Volunteers. They are helping a lot of people but theres so many more needing help. Cherry Tree also provide courses (basic and accredited – literacy, numeracy, IT, Horticulture), Volunteers have days out, parties, activities – this is how I got involved with them – I held a basic beginners running course for any who wanted to attend last year – we had fun – we laughed – we ran ( a bit or a lot – no pressure) – now one of their volunteers has completed her own Run Leaders Course and they carry on running!

Help them send more people on courses, take on more volunteers, teach some to improve their reading and writing, make people feel useful and included in society. 25% – its a big number isn’t it?

Thank you. Xx’