A WOMAN is running the London Marathon this April to raise money for a community-driven school project in North Cerney, near Cirencester.

Laura Rettie, 31, from Perrots Brook, is running the marathon distance of just over 26 miles to try to raise as much money as possible for The Big Project at North Cerney School.

“I was absolutely delighted to get into the marathon the first time I ever applied,” said Laura.

“As I got in through the ballot, which is very hard to do, I didn’t actually have to run for a charity. But it seemed a shame not to raise some money so I decided I would run for the Big Project.”

The Big Project was set up by Laura’s sister Jenny Forde after their dad Dave Kerr-Rettie died suddenly of cancer two years ago.

The project is raising money to build a new assembly hall and a brand-new toilet block for the children, as both areas of the school are in desperate need of renovation.

“Dad was very into all things small and community-based and he was a teacher at North Cerney School,” said Laura.

“I think of him when I’m finding training particularly hard and it keeps me going.”

Laura admits she is an “absolute beginner” when it comes to running and said training for the marathon was the hardest thing she had ever experienced, second to losing her dad.

“No-one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it,” she said.

“All my family and some of my friends are coming to support me on the day and I’ve raised £290 so far. I’m expecting quite a bit more though!”

Visit justgiving.com/lozrettie to support Laura during her marathon effort or see northcerneybigproject.com to read more about the project.