Roshni’s journey to the London Marathon in honour of her cousin

Running for Jo – Roshni’s journey to the London Marathon in honour of her cousin


There are many ways to deal with grief and the challenges it can bring in the moment. Joanne Fraser’s passing was devastating news at Nacro and was another incredible shock for her cousin Roshni Goodwin, who was already grieving from family loss.

While processing the pain, Roshni has shown courage by getting into marathon running as a way of honouring the legacy of her cousin and the charity she worked for. She writes for us how she came to know Nacro and, as well as her running journey and why it continues.

“I became aware of Nacro following the loss of Joanne.

She had requested lots of her belongings be donated to the charity and her friends had dedicated a fundraiser in her memory before her funeral.

“As a family, we were then invited to a tree planting in Jo’s memory where we met people who Joanne had volunteered with and who knew her really well. Everyone was so welcoming and I found out more about what Nacro outdoor learning did and the impact it has on young people.

“We were then invited on a foraging course which had been funded by some of the money that had been donated in the fundraiser before Jo’s funeral and I knew I wanted to contribute in raising some funds for the charity.”

Nacro’s Manchester outdoor learning centre delivers outdoor education for children, young people and adults. This includes outdoor play, environmental education, adventure activities and encompasses team building skills and personal development in the outdoors.

“I signed up for the Manchester 10k in 2022 for my first running event. I had found out the night before that I had lost my cousin Rebecca to suicide, but decided to still run to try and take my focus from that. Within the next 12 months, I then lost my grandma and also Joanne.

“Running became something that I used to navigate through my grief. It offered me time to think and gave me something to focus on. In 2023, I ran the Manchester half marathon raising money for Papyrus, a charity focused on the prevention of suicide. It was also during this time that I got excited watching the London Marathon on TV and entered the ballot not ever imagining I would get a place – but here we are!

“Joanne and Rebecca both worked in supporting young people, often those from disadvantaged backgrounds or those that needed more support. Being able to use something that is helping me to in turn help other people is incredibly important to me and Nacro seems like the perfect charity for that. Jo was a dedicated volunteer at Nacro’s Manchester outdoor learning centre, where she supported adventure and bushcraft clubs and holiday activities for children on free school meals. She also helped young people with additional needs.”

Beth Craigan, an outdoor youth worker at the centre who worked with Jo, recalls her contribution to learning activities with fondness.

“She loved being outdoors and helping provide opportunities for young people to learn and enjoy being outside. Foraging was, above all, her favourite activity and she loved sharing her knowledge and passion for wild food with the young people of Manchester. Jo is a much missed member of our team and we are so touched that her family and friends continue to support our work in her name.”

How can I also support?

Roshni will be running in this weekend’s London Marathon on Sunday 21 April. You can back her by donating to her fundraising page in support of Nacro here.

What is Greater Manchester Outdoor Learning?

We are passionate about the powerful nature of active learning outside, and the many and far-reaching benefits for lifelong learning. Nacro Greater Manchester Outdoor Learning, is a service designed to support personal development by encouraging critical thinking, problem solving skills, and learning to work as part of a team.

Find out more information