A member of Brixton’s Mosaic Clubhouse charity is running in tomorrow’s (4 October) London Marathon.
Matthew Ridley has already raised £3,463 for Mosaic from an initial goal of £500 throgh his Just Giving page.
Changes to the marathon to meet Covid-19 restrictions were announced in August. Participants have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds, starting from midnight on Saturday, to run, walk or jog 26.2 miles of their own route anywhere in the UK or the World – making the event the most inclusive London Marathon ever, the organisers say.
His training plan was not affected too significantly by the changes and he is grateful that the marathon is now in October and not the planned April. He was in a lot of pain earlier this year with a hip problem that affected his blood pressure and knees.
Matthew plans to start his run at 11am and complete it in three hours.
His route will take hm through through parts of London “that mean something to me, and I get to run parts of it with people who have supported me.’’
Matthew will begin in Dalston Junction, he will pass through Oxford Circus and finish near Emmanuel Road in Tooting Common. He will already have completed more than 20 miles when he passes through Brixton.
He would have liked to run past all of London’s major landmarks, but will be pleased to see family and friends along the way.
Eight years ago, Matthew was suffering with mental health issues when he was referred to Mosaic Clubhouse by the NHS’s Living Well Network Hub, a community-based lifeline that supports people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Mosaic, established in 1994, is now based on Effra Road.
The clubhouse model helps to restore confidence in people who have suffered from mental health problems and has had a positive impact on the lives of many Lambeth residents, including Matthew.
Now 25, Matthew is at a better place with his life and wants to give something back to a community which helped him when he was at a low point.
“Realising I wanted to run for Mosaic happened very quickly after deciding I was going to do it all,” he says.
“Having been supported for a while by Mosaic through various struggles with mental health, I’d reached a point of relative stability where I didn’t need as much help as before.’’
Mosaic Clubhouse assigned Matthew to a transitional employment placement and he now works for Public Health England.
He is ecstatic to have exceeded by almost seven times his initial goal for donations.
“It’s honestly breath taking whenever I’m reminded of the total,” he says.
“It’s also been really touching when people have contacted me talking about the important of mental health, either through their own experiences or just recognising it at large.’
“The overriding feeling is of excitement and relief that there’s an endpoint to all the time and effort that’s been put in so far.’’
Matthew plans to celebrate post-marathon with a couple of weeks’ rest away from the park and gym.