A KIND-hearted mum is taking on the marathon to raise funds for a 'local gem'.

Laura Love, from Colchester, used to work at the GO4 Market Cafe, and saw first-hand the hard work they do.

Sadly, since the cafe moved from Trinity Church to Old Heath Recreation Ground, it has become a prime target for yobs and vandals.

Wanting to raise funds to give it a new lease of life, Mrs Love will be running the London Marathon later this month.

She said: "I’m primarily fundraising for Oxfam, but my plan had always been to meet their target and then move onto a local charity, which is what I’ve done.

"I worked at GO4 Market Cafe when it was in Trinity Church as a stall holder for my business 13 Stitches, primarily making collectors bears and running The Pop-Up Teddy Bear Hospital.

"I got to see first hand the amazing work they do as an organisation helping the local homeless and supporting young people back to work.

"Now GO4 have moved to the Cafe On The Rec they are doing even more by providing a community space for people to meet, supporting Junior Parkrun and providing facilities to people who use the park.

"I cannot fathom why anyone would want to vandalise such a worthy resource so hopefully the money I’m helping to raise can go towards GO4, repairing and protecting the building so that it can continue to do the excellent job it does."

In January hard-working staff at the GO4 Cafe arrived to find their store room door smashed in.

Crooks had forced their way inside, with staff believing they were attempting to access the cafe.

Instead, they removed chairs and tins of sweets, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

This will be the 40-year-old's first marathon, she said her next challenge will be to learn to skateboard.

She is a learning support assistant and art club leader at Kendall Primary School, which her son attends.

She is hoping to raise £4,000 to help revamp the cafe and has said for every £1 donated she will write the donor's name on a raffle ticket.

She is making themed hampers to give away in the raffle after the marathon.

To find out more about the raffle and to donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Laura-LoveCafe.