Thousands of runners are preparing to pound the streets of London for the 2019 marathon.

But last year there was one Cumbrian contestant who sadly didn’t make it to the end.

Matt Campbell collapsed and died 3.7 miles from the finish line.

A talented chef, Matt was well known in the county after reaching the semi-finals of Masterchef: The Professionals.

He was running the London Marathon for the Brathay Trust in memory of his dad Martin, who died in the summer of 2016.

An apparently fit and healthy 29-year-old, he collapsed near the end in sweltering heat.

As news of the tragedy spread, those who knew him spoke of their shock at the sudden loss of such a rising star.

He was described by many as a young man who wanted to use his success to help others and 12 months after his death, that legacy is living on through the charity he had taken to heart.

In the days that followed, donations came flooding in to the Brathay Trust from right across Cumbria and beyond.

Runners in the county paid their own tribute by taking on the #MilesForMatt challenge - running the 3.7 miles he never got to complete.

The money raised - well over £400,000 - has been used by the Cumbrian charity to launch a special project in his memory.

With the approval of Matt’s mum, Carmen, and brother, Josh, it drew up an ambitious programme to improve the lives of hundreds of young people by building their resilience to cope at difficult times.

Now, a year on from his death, the charity has provided an update on how the money has been used to date, and what else is planned.

Julia Wilson, from the Brathay Trust, said: “In the weeks following Matt’s death thousands of people donated to help vulnerable young people in his memory.

“In agreement with Matt’s family we’re using this fund in different ways to improve the resilience of young people at risk of poor mental health.”

In September last year, the charity launched the Resilience 3.7 programme at Matt’s former secondary school - Kirkbie Kendal.

The event kicked off with 500 pupils running 3.7 miles around the school playing fields.

They all wore orange wristbands with the slogan #MilesForMatt wristbands, then took their pick from activities designed to push them out of their comfort zones and try something new - the key theme of the Resilience 3.7 project.

From healthy cooking to rugby, digital art, music and golf, the zones showcased the kind of activities Resilience 3.7 would offer - taking pupils away from academic studies temporarily to focus on emotional development.

Resilience 3.7 has worked with 80 children from seven different schools.

The programme sees up to 12 young people from each school work together once a week on different activities to improve their wellbeing - including a weekend personal development residential at Brathay Hall.

Topics include healthy living, physical activity, balancing life to minimise stress and thinking about hopes and dreams.

Children are referred to the 3.7 programme to help build their self-esteem and confidence, develop and maintain positive friendships and reduce their social isolation.

It also helps to develop coping strategies and resilience to challenges, including coping with change, family breakdown, peer group pressure and conflict.

The programme helps them discover how to manage their emotions and make positive choices. It also helps those with anxiety or who are self-harming.

Those taking part have given positive feedback.

One said: “It has helped give me confidence to deal with things at home.”

Other projects being supported by Matt’s fund include work with young people who are at risk of sexual exploitation, supporting them to learn about healthy relationships, safety and consent.

Brathay also provides one-to-one support for youngsters.

One of them said it has helped to turn their life around: “Before the project I felt lost and trapped, like I couldn’t carry on. Now I’m buzzing to go to school and see all my friends.”

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 28.