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York Road Staff & Clients are raising money for York Road Project

Walk With Us

Event date: 27th May 2022

Our story

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


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.

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York Road Staff & Clients are fundraising for

York Road Project

Charity number: 1162835

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