A MUM who ran 465k throughout June to raise funds for the nursery her two sons have attended has achieved more than five times her original target.

Emma Holcroft, 36, of Tidworth, set herself the challenge of running every day in June, running the number of kilometres of each date.

She began on June 1 by running one kilometre, and ran through the finishing tape on 30 June having completed 30 kilometres that day.

Emma said she wanted to turn her challenge into another positive, so pledged to raise money for The Nest nursery in Tidworth.

“I have used The Nest nursery for nearly five years for Owen and Evan, and the place will always hold a very special place in my heart,” said Emma.

“Clare, who manages this amazing nursery, realised I had concerns about both boys, and over time she agreed with me that they acted differently from their peers.

“She encouraged me to get diagnoses for each of them, and when my husband was away she came with me to their appointments for the diagnoses and held my hand right through them.”

Emma’s husband Neil is a signaller with 26 Royal Engineer Regiment based at Perham Down, so was often unable to attend appointments.

“Both boys were diagnosed with autism and global development delays, and not only did Clare support me through this but she came with me on parent courses for additional needs, so I could understand my beautiful boys. She has continued to smash down the barriers that stood in their way, and got them everything they deserved to help set up the bright amazing futures they now have ahead of them.

“I honestly believe if I didn’t have Clare I wouldn’t be where I am today, and as a family we are now stronger than ever.”

Emma set herself a target of £250, but when she finished her final run at Tedworth House, she was stunned to see the total raised was £1,308.

“I was so surprised to see all the people there to greet me at the end, and the biggest surprise was seeing my son Rhys, who is 12, because I thought he would miss it as he would be at school. But his school, Wellington Academy, had given his dad permission for Rhys to leave early to share the moment. I was absolutely blown away by the amount raised, I even got donations from complete strangers. When you consider we’re in a pandemic, it touches my heart that people have been so generous, and I thank every one of them.”

The Nest’s manager, Clare Robertson, said the nursery is hugely grateful to Emma.

“This was a fantastic initiative and the money will be spent on equipment for all children but especially children with special educational needs,” said Clare.

“Emma has always been very kind to us all, but we all do whatever we can to support all our children and their families in any way we can. We all got very excited cheering Emma on as she came up to the finish line, and it was a brilliant feat, especially when some days the temperature was in the late 20s. She has done her children and the nursery very proud. She is an inspirational lady and we all, especially myself, will miss her, her children and the family a lot.”