My name is Cherisse Dealtry, and I am currently the Chief Executive here at York Road Project (YRP). I have been with the Charity for four and a half years and love being part of this fantastic organisation. Did you know that we have been here for over 20 years as a registered Charity here in Woking? We have worked with thousands of people who have needed us in that time.
Throughout the pandemic we continued to operate, supporting several hundred people with temporary accommodation at HG Wells Conference Centre and Woking Hotel from March 2020 until September 2021. We have moved back to our previous accommodation, continuing our work to ‘end homelessness together.'
Like any job it can be rewarding, fulfilling, and seeing our clients move on towards independency is hard to describe in words, it’s such a privilege to be part of their journey. As you can imagine it can also be stressful, and you can at times struggle with making sure we are looking after our own wellbeing. It is so important to set time aside for ourselves.
When I started writing this piece, I took a little trip down memory lane to the first time I decided I needed to become more active to help manage the stresses and have an outlet for the job I did. I walk a lot already but I needed something that would be a challenge and push me. I decided I wanted to start running. The first time I went out for a run, it was not a pretty sight, I was huffing and puffing and there was no rhythm or grace to my efforts! I remember coming into work to my boss at the time stating that I was taking up running, he sat there chuckling to himself (he had been running for years) when I told him. I told him I wanted to raise money for the service I was managing which was also in the Homeless sector. I even found a run that I wanted to ‘compete’ in. ‘The Farnham Pilgrim Half Marathon’ which was organised for September 2014 of that year. I had 7 months to get in shape and typing this, I cannot believe it was 8 years ago now.
I used to see runners when I was going to work or driving to the shops and think they were crazy. I mean who wants to run in the rain or snow, right? Well, it turns out I do. I started slow, found a free program online that I could follow and slowly over the weeks and months I found myself enjoying the feeling of just running. I was becoming stronger, and my mindset was shifting. I have always been a worrier and take on the troubles of the world, running helped me to compartmentalise things and I found a lot of what I worried about was not important. There is a sense of pure freedom and joy when you exercise. I love getting up early and running when the sun is rising. It helps me appreciate the world around me and sets me up for the day ahead. I have days even now when I am tired and do not want to run and I will go and open a bag of crisps and make excuses that I had a ‘tough day,’ and I do not feel like it. On the days I do go out even though I do not want too I feel better within minutes and know it will benefit me in so many ways.
Our campaign to run or walk 5k (3.1 miles) in May is something anyone can achieve. Wellbeing and a happy work/life balance is so important, and statistics show that ‘exercise can help brain cells to grow. Regular exercise makes your heart, muscles, and bones stronger and work better. Activity can help you feel more in control which helps when you are worried or stressed.’ I wasn’t born to run and I wouldn’t say I was brilliant at it but I know that it is something that helps me work out worries, helps me plan days and helps me to decompress from a job I love, but a job like so many that can be tough, especially when you are dealing with people who have had misfortunes and struggles in life and are lost and need our help to find their way back. So why don’t you get your trainers on and grab a friend or go by yourself and just go for a walk and take in the environment around you. I bet you will go home feeling lighter and brighter from sharing stories and being outside.
Here is what you need to know about the walk that we are doing. Good luck!
Length of Walk: 5k (estimated to take 1hour 15minutes to complete at a moderate walking pace.
Starting: The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking, GU21 4AA
Start Time: 12:-00
Walk Finishing at: Chertsey Road, GU21 5AJ
- Take the pedestrian overpass on Victoria Way joining the Saturn Trail for 1.5 miles to St Johns Road.
- Left onto St Johns, down to Triggs lane roundabout walking the 2nd exit onto Kingsway.
- Turn right onto Goldsworth Road down to the High Street.
- Turn left onto Chertsey Road where you will reach the end of your 5k walk.
- Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. There are many water refill stations in and around Woking, get yourself a refillable bottle today.
- Please let a member of the YRP team know if you have any medication conditions or accessibility requirements that we should be aware of.
- Get Fundraising! tell people about the work you are doing and share the fundraising page today: YorkRoadProject.org.uk/5kmay