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Harrow Online writer to run London Marathon for local mental health charity The Wish Centre

A Harrow Online writer is set to take on the London Marathon this month to raise money for a local youth mental health charity.

Finley Harnett is running to raise funds for the Wish Centre, a Harrow-based charity that provides mental health support to young people.

Since starting to write for Harrow Online in 2020, Finley became a trustee of the Wish Centre in 2022 and last year took on the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees.

This is the first time Finley, who last Christmas won the Pinner Santa Dash and has twice participated in the Pinner Wheelbarrow Race, has ever run a marathon.

Overcoming the added challenge of being a type 1 diabetic, Finley has managed to run several half marathons and has run in five different countries.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR FINLEY TO RUN THE LONDON MARATHON FOR THE WISH CENTRE

Finley told Harrow Online: “I’m delighted to be running my first marathon in aid of the Wish Centre, a fantastic charity that I’m proud to be part of. As Chair of Wish, I know the staff have made a huge difference to the lives of young people in Harrow through one-to-one therapy and peer support groups.

“With demand for services rising, I’m hoping to reach my target of £2000. I would be so grateful to Harrow Online readers if they could donate whatever they can, however much, to support this amazing local charity”.

Harrow Online writer to run London Marathon for local mental health charity The Wish Centre Harrow Online
Wish Centre logo

The Wish Centre is a community-based model that provides open ended psychotherapy and emotional mental health support in person at schools and at its Centre, plus digital therapy, in person peer support groups, out of hours help, and advice and training. The Wish Centre provides a free service for young people ages 12-25 years who live or go to school in Harrow.

90 per cent of service users have stopped or reduced self harm, and 85 per cent stopped feeling suicidal.

One service user said “[Wish] opened so many doors… it changed everything”​, while another said, “I still have the negative experiences and thoughts, but like, I am able to deal with them much better than I did before”.

Harrow Online writer to run London Marathon for local mental health charity The Wish Centre Harrow Online
From wheelbarrow racer to marathoner: Finley wheeling his
race partner Raj Vakesan in the 2023 Pinner Wheelbarrow
Race

The London Marathon takes place on Sunday 21 April, the same day as the annual St. George’s Day celebrations that are held on Pinner High Street. This means Finley will this year be missing the gruelling Pinner wheelbarrow race, in which teams of two take it in turns to push their partner in a wheelbarrow, drink the equivalent of several pints of beer and race round the streets of Pinner.

“I’m gutted to be missing the Pinner wheelbarrow race, which is a challenge almost as great as running the London Marathon,” Finley said. “But I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to participate in the world’s best running event for such a brilliant charity. Please, please give generously — thank you!”

You can find out more information about the Wish Centre here.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR FINLEY TO RUN THE LONDON MARATHON FOR THE WISH CENTRE.

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