The manageress of a Middlesbrough town centre café will run her first marathon in London this April (2018) to raise funds for sports equipment for disabled children.

Louise Matthews, who manages Jean’s Kitchen in Dundas Indoor Market, part of Dundas Shopping Centre, only started running two years ago, but is in training to tackle her first London Marathon.  She turns 40 later this year and this was part of her motivation to take on the challenge.

“I was never a runner, but with the help of my running group I have built up my stamina and done three half marathons.  Running the London Marathon will be the big test which I wanted to do before my 40th birthday,” says mother-of-two Louise, who is raising funds for Get Kids Going!, a charity which helps disabled children and young people to participate in sport.  Louise has a fund raising personal target of £2,000, as part of her running group’s total target of £10,000.

Four other members of her Anyone Can Run group, based in her home town of Guisborough, are also running the London Marathon for the same charity, chosen, according to Louise, as it is not very well known.  She says: “We wanted to raise funds for a smaller charity, one which is often overlooked, but does very good work.  My 13-year-old son is very sporty, and one of my friends has a disabled child, so Get Kids Going! seemed to fit the bill.”

Louise, who has worked at Jean’s Kitchen for 24 years, is being supported in her fund-raising efforts by all the staff, two of which are accompanying her to London to support her on the day.  The café team are also joining her with their families 5K fun park run in Middlesbrough’s Stewart Park in March and helping her with a monthly tombola in Dundas Indoor Market.

She says: “The support I’m getting from all my staff and from the Dundas Market Manager David Harris is great.  It makes all the training worthwhile.”

Louise has a fund raising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-portal/fundraiserPage?pageId=862365# where contributions can be made.  Further information about Get Kids Going! is available from www.getkidsgoing.com.

Part of the Dundas Shopping Centre, Dundas Market is the only indoor market in Middlesbrough.  Open six days a week from Monday to Saturday, it has more than 20 welcoming market stalls, including Sweet Corner, Jean’s Kitchen, Alta Ego and Danny’s Family Butchers, selling everything from handbags to gladrags, furniture to fizzbombs, make ups to vapes, candles to mirrors, babywear to bhajis and low fat Chicken Shawarmas, as well as mobile phone and tablet repairs.