Katherine Falk, an Assistant psychologist at Norfolk, and Suffolk NHS Foundation trust, started the new year on a marathon training mission.
She will be taking part in the Stockholm Marathon on 3 June to boost funds for a garden project at Wedgwood House, NSFT’s adult acute inpatient mental health unit in Bury St Edmunds.
And she is hoping her efforts will add to the £50,000 already raised towards a £90,000 target.
Work has already started on turning the piece of wasteland at the site into a natural recovery haven to be used by patients, staff, and the wider community.
Katherine, co project lead, admits she is not a runner, but said she wanted to show how important the project is. She said: “I am nervous and unfit but determined. I think everyone who knows me will realise this is quite a big thing for me to do – so I must be serious!
“I’m slowly building up the miles in a bid to get round the course. It’s really tough but this garden will be worth it,” she said.
The idea for the run came from a chat Katherine had with her son Will over a bowl of soup when they were recovering from COVID about something major they could do to raise more funds for the garden.
She said: “He is a cheerleader for boys and men speaking out about their mental health and is keen to help us get the garden built. I said a marathon was something I feel I should have done in my life and two minutes later he had registered us both for the Stockholm Marathon.
“We know Stockholm quite well, my husband is half Swedish, we have lots of family there and we lived there for 4 years. The end section of the marathon course was watchable from our apartment and I often looked down and thought it’s something I should have done.
Katherine had worked her way up to 10k twice a week by early October and then had an unfortunate accident with a “flying dog (not his fault and he’s ok!)” where she damaged her foot and had to stop for a couple of months.
And her target time? “Before the organisers pack up and go home for the day (I think I have 6 ½ hours).
If you would like to sponsor Katherine and raise funds for the garden visit Wedgwood House Therapy Garden or search Wedgwood House Therapy Garden on Just Giving.
Landscape designer Mia Witham, who specialises in designing outdoor therapeutic spaces to improve mental health, has created this plan which includes interactive areas and quiet, safe spaces for reflection. The garden will include areas for cultivating and growing where regular workshops will be held, a yoga and meditation meadow with a backdrop of natural boulders and a platform overlooking the garden to use as a meeting area for therapy groups, family gatherings or just for peaceful contemplation.