RESTORE’S project manager is taking on a marathon next month to pay for the refurbishment of the charity shop’s new garden.

Shortly after Ian Howard joined the Christian community organisation in Whitbourne Avenue earlier this year, the 50-year-old approached the trustees to ask for £1,000 to restore the garden.

Now Ian is taking on the Neolithic Marathon across Salisbury Plain to raise at least an identical sum.

He said: “I used to run marathons when I was younger and I have always run for charities.

“Shortly after I came to Restore I wanted to spend £1,000 on our garden. I asked if we could spend the money and said I would get the money back when I ran this marathon on May 4. So they gave me the money, we did the work on the garden and now I have to get the money back.”

Ian said: “We’re experimenting with growing some food in the garden and we’ve put in various plants.

“We’ve also got some raised beds and created an area for people to sit outside and just enjoy being in a garden.

“Now I hope we’ll be able to hold school holiday-based activities there and encourage more children and their parents into the project.

“Our main aim is to restore people as well as to give back to the community, and the new garden is part of that.”

Runners in the Neolithic Marathon will pass between two world heritage sites – Avebury and Stonehenge – through stunning landscapes and a range of terrain.

Ian said: “It’s 26.2 miles and so it’s a full length marathon, and there are some particularly lovely scenes.

“I haven’t done it before but people who have said it can be quite an emotional run. I can imagine getting misty eyed coming over the plain and seeing Stonehenge.

“It should be quite a nice day provided the weather is OK.”

As well as selling second-hand and restored goods, such as furniture, crockery and toys, Restore also carries out electrical testing, creates bird boxes and other woodwork, repairs furniture and grows a variety of vegetables and plants.

It also helps people by providing work placement and volunteering opportunities to many in the community, where they can develop skills and confidence.

To sponsor Ian and help him reach his target, log on to /IanHoward6