A companion at Emmaus Village Carlton will hit the treadmill in a restaurant full of customers tomorrow - Wednesday, March 19 - in a bid to boost his sponsorship for the London Marathon.
Stuart White, 36, is aiming to raise £1,500 in the challenge which starts at noon as his way of thanking the charity that has helped him get back on his feet, after losing his home and splitting up with a partner.
Since being at Village Carlton - where he lives and works - Stuart has stopped a substance abuse problem from spiralling out of control and is now attending regular counselling sessions to help him come to terms with his relationship breakdown.
Stuart said: “I wanted to show Emmaus how grateful I am that it gave me somewhere to turn when I was at my lowest ebb. Since being here I have really got things back under control, where before I felt like everything was running away.
“My job as an environmental health inspector involved a lot of travelling and I wanted see my two kids, who lived in different places. Maintaining everything just got more and more difficult and I used drink and drugs to cope. But now I feel like I am back on track, and that’s thanks to this community.”
Stuart has been training hard for his 26.2 mile challenge, running on the treadmill in the community gym and around local villages.
He added: “I’ve done the Great North Run six times, as my daughter has Down’s Syndrome and I’ve run for Down’s charities, but this is the first time I’ve ever done a marathon. I’m really hoping everyone is going to get behind me.”
Helen Jago, community leader at Emmaus Village Carlton, said: “We are so proud of Stuart - he has been training really hard - as well as working full-time in the community. The other companions have already pledged £250 towards his total so he just needs a few more sponsors to top up his fundraising.”
To sponsor Stuart go to www.justgiving.com/Stu-White1 or donate at Village Carlton, School Lane, MK43 7LQ any time until the marathon on April 13.