Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

Matt’s courageous coast-to-coast challenge

Written by  Gena Moore
Rate this item
(3 votes)
Matt’s courageous coast-to-coast challenge

A local man is preparing to embark on a running challenge which will see him run over 500km, from Great Yarmouth to Aberystwyth in Wales, in just 14 days.

Matt Roberts, 29, of Newmarket Road, Norwich, set himself the challenge after being diagnosed with arthritis at the age of just 24.

‘In 2010 I was diagnosed with arthritis and since then have been determined not to let that dictate what I do. I’ve always enjoyed running, since the 1500m event at sports day at school, to taking part in various half marathons, so I wanted to continue do so, despite my condition. Amazingly, running on a regular basis has really helped my arthritic condition, so I feel now is the time to take on such a big challenge!’

This will be both a personal challenge for the designer, who works at Farrows creative agency on Thorpe Road, Norwich, and also a crusade to raise awareness and money for charity while he completes the mammoth journey. He has decided to fundraise for local child bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey, and Sussex children’s hospice the Chestnut Tree House.

‘I grew up in Sussex and moved to Norwich to go to the Norwich University of the Arts in 2005. It felt right that where I grew up and my current home were represented from the charities I’ve chosen. Both charities do incredible work for children and their families, so it's not all about raising money, but also about raising awareness of the services they provide to their local communities.

Through my work I was lucky enough to attend the Nelson’s Journey Smiles Awards earlier this year and was incredibly impressed by the work they do in Norfolk. I've wanted to do something for Nelson's Journey ever since, the fact that they help bring smiles back to children who’ve been bereaved is amazing and something that every child should be doing.’

Gena Moore, Funding and Marketing Officer for the charity told us ‘We are incredibly lucky to have supporters like Matt embarking on huge challenges for Nelson’s Journey. We receive very little statutory funding so rely heavily on support from the Norfolk public to help us keep up with the growing demands on our service. The funds from Matt’s challenge will go towards our work with children and young people who have sadly experienced the death of someone important in their lives.’

Despite the challenge looming ahead, Matt is more worried about his stomach than his feet ‘The most difficult part of the run will always be making sure I eat enough - I'll be burning off nearly 2,000 calories a day!’

For more information about Matt Roberts’ challenge visit his website: runmattrun.com or to donate https://www.justgiving.com/runmattrunnelson/

For more information about Nelson’s Journey, please visit their website at www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk.

About Nelsons Journey

During 2014, Nelson’s Journey saw an increase of nearly 20% in the demand for its service (a 25% increase was experienced in 2013). The Norfolk based charity believe this is largely down to local government funding cuts and scaling down of support services for these vulnerable individuals.  During 2014 they received 596 referrals for bereaved children and young people needing support for bereavement issues.

Nelson’s Journey has been operating for 17yrs is a registered charity providing a service for children and young people aged 0-17 years inclusive, living in Norfolk, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.  We aim to improve the emotional well being of bereaved children by:  increasing their confidence and self belief, providing education about the causes of death, enabling families to talk openly about their bereavement.  We also provide opportunities to remember those who have died and help children to express and understand their emotions.

Nelson’s Journey endeavours to ‘Bring back smiles to bereaved children’.

It is currently estimated that 1 in 29 school aged children have experienced the death of a parent or sibling, in Norfolk this equates to approximately 3,825 children.  This figure is significantly higher when pre-school children and 17 year olds are included. 

Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2016 18:52

Related items

  • Ancient bluebell wood set to give up its spectacular secret

    The owners of a spectacular bluebell wood which, until last year, had lain hidden from public gaze for centuries will be holding five open days this year in aid of an Aylsham-based charity.

    Having introduced a little more light into the ancient five-acre wood through sensitive coppicing, keen conservationists Andrew and Caroline Morton believe the dazzling  spectacular, with its wonderful scent, will be more breathtaking than ever.

  • Take a Tandem Parachute Jump for Norfolk Deaf Association
    Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) is marking the start of Deaf Awareness Week 2017 with a Tandem Parachute Jump on Sunday, May 14 at Ellough Airfield, Beccles to raise funds for its vital services supporting people with hearing loss in Norfolk.
     
    NDA is dedicated to improving the lives of young people and adults with all degrees of hearing loss. This is achieved by providing hearing aid maintenance, advice on assistive listening technology and communication methods, befriending, and support and information on hearing loss and other related conditions, such as tinnitus. 
  • Virtual Party of Pledges to fund bereaved children’s story-telling

    At the beginning of February, Nelson’s Journey, Norfolk’s child bereavement charity, launched a Crowdfunding project to raise £5,000 in 30 days, enabling bereaved children to tell their stories, helping to break down barriers for others in a similar situation.

    The deadline for raising funds is 6th March at 9:30am and Sophie Berry, Funding and Marketing Manager is hopeful they will reach their target.  She said “Too often we meet bereaved children who feel isolated following their experience, our project will provide a means for bereaved young people to communicate directly to the community, helping to educate them in the challenges faced and what it would have been helpful for people to say to them.”

  • Benson the black Labrador strikes a pose for charity calendar

    Move over Buster the Boxer, this Christmas is all about the return of Benson the black Labrador.

    Benson, a familiar sight at Gresham’s School, Holt, returns to print for his ninth calendar.  The money raised from the sales will again be split between two service charities; Help for Heroes and Walking with the Wounded.

    It is likely that the 2017 edition will be the penultimate calendar as Benson as he has been going progressively blind since February which has curtailed many of his activities and photo opportunities.  In previous editions, Benson can be seen at ease in the presence of military personnel in various locations across the country, and although he no longer goes out and about, he is still a firm fixture at the School.

  • The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge comes to King's Lynn!

    The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is preparing to welcome The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge to King’s Lynn! 

    The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge will cover a 470-mile journey along the east coast of Britain, stopping off in King’s Lynn on Wednesday 16 November. From 7pm to 8pm The One Show’s Matt Baker will present regular live broadcasts from King’s Staithe Square, near the Custom House. 

    Cllr Brian Long, leader of the borough council, said: “It’s great news that King’s Lynn has been chosen as a location for The One Show to visit. We’re delighted to welcome the team to our town, and hope the weather stays fine for them! I wish all those involved every success in their fundraising efforts for Children in Need”.