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Half Marathon for Grow Your Own Project

Posted on the 15th September 2017

A local maintenance worker from Preston completed a half marathon to raise money for a service user and staff wellbeing project.

John Xerri, Rydon Maintenance Co-ordinator for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust completed the Garstang Half Marathon and raised £565 for the Grow Your Own Project for service users at Guild Lodge in Preston.

The Grow Your Own wellbeing project provides an outdoor space for service users and staff to get involved with activities such as painting, planting vegetable patches and wildflower areas, looking after the chickens or sit in the tranquillity garden. Service users also grow their own herbs and vegetables which are sent to the kitchen at Guild Lodge for use in meals across the site as well as to the wards for service users to use to prepare their own meals. The Grow Your Own Project provides City and Guild qualifications and paid employment for service users.

John Xerri, Rydon Maintenance Co-ordinator said:

 “A few weeks ago at a family gathering in Glasgow my son in law Martyn who had just completed a 30 mile race, challenged me to do a half marathon with him. As I am now in the 60+ age group and haven’t run for over 20 years there was only one answer I could give… I accept. I remembered my days in the Territorial Army when I used to be able to run for miles, so I thought of course I can do it! Within a minute I was informed there was a 13.5 mile run around Garstang in 10 weeks’ time.

“I thought, if I’m going to do this then I should have a good reason to do so - especially after my first run of 3 miles when I thought my lungs were going to burst. I mentioned to my line manager what I was doing and the fact I had no sensible reason for doing it and we decided I would it for the Grow Your Own Project. Rydon Maintenance likes to support this good cause as much as possible so it seemed an ideal opportunity to assist them.

“I reached the end with a smile thanks to my lucky pants. 2hrs 34mins and I wasn’t last. The donations raised came to £565. What a wonderful outcome!”

Elizabeth Harrison, Project Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The team and I would like to say a big thank you to John, its people like him that can make real differences and create sustainable change. The team have made the joint decision to invest the money and use it to pay for some chickens, replace some tools and make some raised beds.”

For more information about the Grow Your Own Project andGuild Lodge please visit