Our brilliant playworker Lynsey shares her experience of taking inspiration from The Yard to pounding the pavement...

"I first stepped foot in The Yard Edinburgh in November 2017 for an interview as a sessional playworker. From then 'til now I have never stopped being amazed by the place; the young people, their families and the incredible staff who every day create a place of fun, support and inspiration for everyone who passes through the door.

My fundraising story begins at the start of 2018 when I received an email suggesting I sign up for the Stirling Half Marathon. I had been running on and off for a few years and had taken part in a few runs, but nothing further than a 10k, which had been hard enough! However, in a moment of new year resolution madness, I signed up to the challenge of running 13.1 miles, more than double the distance I had ever run before.

I knew I would need some good motivation to keep me training and running on the day, so fundraising for The Yard seemed an obvious choice. I knew that every penny I made would be going towards making the lives of young people better - I was seeing it first hand at work!

So, with just four months to double the distance I was able to run, I started to train. Thwarted at many turns by Beasts from the East and an injured ankle, I am so grateful to my family, friends (and my dog Echo) who encouraged me, ran with me and, in the case of my friend Karyn, even signed up to do the half marathon alongside me. With their help and the support of everyone who was kind enough to sponsor me, I turned up to the start line less prepared than I hoped but motivated to do my best and make it round the course.

I am always nervous at the start of a run but it is an amazing feeling being surrounded by people waiting to undertake the same challenge as you. Runners are so supportive of each other and they keep you going even when you feel like giving up. My friend Karyn was a constant support and stayed by my side the whole way round, chatting to keep my mind off my tired legs, and when things got hard, I would just think about The Yard and the happiness on the children’s faces when they come through the front door. Crossing the finish line and seeing my family there cheering me on was the best feeling! Knowing I had completed a personal challenge and raised money for a good cause was fantastic!

So, for any of you thinking of what you want to achieve this year, why not take on a new challenge and raise some money for The Yard while doing it. I promise, even if it seems tough along the way, it will be more than worth it in the end!"