I’m running the London Marathon on 28 April – which single organisation should receive the money I raise through sponsorship?

After hundreds of suggestions from many of you, I’ve narrowed it down to three fantastic charity projects: a new MRI machine to specialise in breast scanning at the Bristol Breast Care Centre at Southmead Hospital; support groups for young children whose parents are alcoholics and drug users; or new wildlife habitats encouraging plants and animals in Bristol.

I invited people to suggest charities and I was amazed by the huge range of responses I received. I already knew about many of Bristol’s fantastic charities, but this showed me just how many great organisations there are in the city, working on so many important things.

It makes me very proud to represent people with such a generous spirit. Choosing a few organisations to put out to a public vote was extremely difficult – I’m hoping Bristolians can help me narrow it down to one.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to make suggestions. I plan to visit as many of these organisations as possible and learn how I can support their work in other ways.

Vote using the form below. The deadline for voting is midnight on Saturday 2 March, 2019.

So here is my shortlist:

  • BUST (Breast cancer Unit Support Trust)

BUST is raising money for a dedicated MRI scanner for the Bristol Breast Care Centre (Southmead Hospital). This is where many women, myself included, have received treatment for breast cancer. One in eight women get breast cancer at some time in their lives.

BUST has already raised £700,000 towards its £1 million target for the cost of the new machine, which will also be used for scanning for prostate and bladder cancers as well as breast cancer.

  • Support for young people affected by their parents’ drug and alcohol use (a project of Bristol Drugs Project)

Bristol Drugs Project’s free Youth Group supports children who are living with a parent or family member struggling with alcohol or drug use. The groups give children respite from a difficult home life, providing them with the opportunity to get out for the evening and take part in activities their parents are often unable to coordinate or afford. Through social and creative activities, the groups help children increase resilience and self-confidence, important building blocks for success in adult life.

These groups are the only structured alcohol and drug support offered across the whole of Bristol for children under 11. This is despite the charity’s estimate that parents’ drug and alcohol use probably affects at least one child in every classroom in Bristol.

  • Avon Wildlife Trust’s My Wild City project

My Wild City makes Bristol a better place to live for birds, bees, hedgehogs and humans. The project’s community initiatives in Bristol West have already created mini nature reserves in gardens, streets, schools and businesses.

Connecting green spaces in the city is vital for the wildlife. The My Wild City project makes Bristol a haven for wildlife, encourages children’s love of wildlife on their doorstep and improves everyone’s wellbeing by helping them to reconnect with nature.

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