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Running A Marathon in Back Garden For Vulnerable Young People

Published on: 17 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2020

The Matrix Trust charity that supports vulnerable young people in Guildford is facing a funding crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As its 20th anniversary approaches this Sunday, April 19, its plans for a youth and social enterprise cafe in Allen House grounds in Guildford town centre, are in jeopardy.

Scot Bower is running a marathon in his back garden to raise funds for The Matrix Trust.

This is due to Matrix’s community fundraising and income-generating school workshops being axed for the rest of the year.

Scot Bower, husband of Matrix’s chief executive officer Misty, was due to run in the Brighton Marathon this weekend to raise funds.

However, he is now going to run the marathon in he and Misty’s garden, up and down their 15-metre path.

Scot and Misty Bower’s garden path.

Misty said: “Coronavirus is causing hardship and sorrow for families across the country. Young people without the structure of school and the support of friends will find it particularly stressful. Any help that you can give to The Matrix Trust at this time, so it can continue its work with vulnerable young people in the Guildford area would be hugely appreciated.”

Click here to sponsor Scott.

And The Matrix Trust has also launched a crowdfunding appeal. Click here if you would like to donate to it.

From its outset, Matrix’s ambition has been to provide emotional, mental health support and life and career guidance to the young people of Guildford from underprivileged backgrounds, many of whom might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Matrix says a survey released in 2013 suggests that approximately 10% (currently around 14,800) of children and young people in ‘affluent’ Guildford actually live in poverty.

Scot and Misty Bower.

Over the past 20 years it has helped more than 20,000 young people, working in schools (including Guildford County, George Abbot and Kings College), with classroom-based work, one-to-one counselling sessions, running youth clubs and creating a host of safe events and activities.

During the current crisis Matrix has been unable to meet face-to-face with the young people who need its help. It has been able to digitise key services to ensure that young people still have access to one-to-one support sessions for the most vulnerable and at-risk.

And has created social interaction online via Zoom, where it plays a range of games to encourage young people to engage with others and be active.

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