For the last 11 weeks this group of women have been running together weekly, to get moving for 30 minutes and improve their wellbeing.
The women are all part of our JOY Project at Worcester Community Trust and have been following the ‘Run30’ running programme devised by Carly Barnes, run coach and founder of RunTheShire, a local women’s only running group.
InUnity, a local sport-for-social-change charity, secured Commonwealth Games Legacy Funding from Sport England, distributed by Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire earlier this year, which has enabled these sessions to happen.
Hannah Brooman, founder and CEO of InUnity has been the driving force behind the programme taking place.
“I’m so pleased to have brought this funding to Worcester and to run this project in my hometown. Providing women and girls with opportunities to better their wellbeing whilst feeling supported and safe is my passion. I know that the JOY Project and RunTheShire hold these values in common, which is why the project has proved such a success.”
Carly has been inspired by the support this community of women give to each other.
“A huge number of women face challenging barriers that prevent them from getting into running. For many this may be time spent caring for others be that children, parents or other family members. For many, personal circumstances can make it hard.
“I started the Run30 group as I wanted to create a fun, safe and inclusive environment for all women to exercise and enjoy spending time together. The programme builds more gradually than other similar running programmes and there is no pressure on how fast you run or how far you go. It is simply about moving for 30 minutes.
“It has been such a pleasure and privilege to coach the first group of JOY women during these past 11 weeks. The group are incredibly encouraging of each other, ensuring that nobody ever gets left behind. Most of the women started with no running experience, and this week we all ran for 30 minutes non-stop together.
“I’ve been blown away by how eager the women are to better their wellbeing and I hope to be able to do more runs with JOY women in the future.”
The JOY Project at Worcester Community Trust is a female and female identifying project supporting any woman to access wellbeing courses, skills, volunteering opportunities or signposting through their own journey, whatever that looks like. We have recently been awarded funding to extend the service across Malvern, Evesham, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster and Redditch as well as continuing the successful Worcester based delivery.
JOY Project Worker, Zahida has seen the impact the running group has had on the women taking part.
“As part of the JOY project, the women we work with can take part in a wide range of activities, from yoga and running to craft sessions, nutrition sessions and light touch mental wellbeing sessions.
“The Run30 programme has been really well received and it’s been fantastic to see the positive impact it is having on the women taking part. As they run further each week confidence is growing, and every time the group returns I am greeted with a lot of smiling faces. We hope to be able to collaborate with InUnity and RunTheShire again in the future.”
The Legacy Fund aims to commemorate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, encouraging community audiences to be active and support the Games missions: Bring people together; Improve health and wellbeing and help the region to grow and succeed.
The funding received by InUnity was specifically for developing a range of sport & physical activities dedicated to girls and women, with a focus on raising self-confidence and female empowerment.
If you would like to find out more about InUnity, visit inunityuk.org