RunTogether: Our Running Groups & Community Support
13 March 2023
RunTogether is not only about getting people running but also about community, and bringing people together!
We recently asked you on social media whether your RunTogether group has been doing anything special to show local community support. We have been blown away with your incredible stories! From food bank donations and litter picking to raising vital funds for local charities, here’s some of the outstanding work from the RunTogether community.
Get started and join the movement! Use our handy tool to help find a RunTogether group near you.
Squirrels Running Group – collaborating with members to support the local community
Squirrels Running Group in Leicestershire have been working hard throughout the year to support their community. Their work has included a range of different prospects. Sucha as, Christmas present deliveries to care homes, supporting the homeless and taking part in the recent Food Bank Run.
We caught up with Run Leader Tim Windram to hear more about the group’s motivations:
“We feel it is important for the Squirrels to be active in supporting our local community. We want to be a force for good and make a genuinely positive impact to the lives of the people around us. We want to make our little corner of Leicestershire a happier and better place.”
Squirrels Running Group has gone the extra mile and linked their group to a local charity from the next village. They’ve raised over £700 from a recent cake sale with more fundraising opportunities coming up!
“As a group we passionately believe that running is for everyone, no matter how fast or slow. The charity and community support work we have done alongside running has benefited us as well, as it has strengthened our own core values.”
It is no secret that people up and down the country are experiencing hardship. Even just volunteering at parkrun or supporting new runners to get active can have a significant impact. If you would like to follow in the Squirrels footsteps, here are top tips from Tim:
“My advice would be to use the skills and talents of the people in your running group already. We had a list of ideas and harnessed the skills of the people in the group. Everyone brings something different to the table but the one thing we all share is the enthusiasm to make a difference. My personal highlight is seeing our RunTogether group become much closer as a result.”
Lions Running Community – installing a community defibrillator and local charity connections
We all know that running is hugely beneficial for your physical and mental health. The Lions Running Community from Chorley have worked together to protect the health of their community by successfully applying for a community defibrillator!
Lions Running Community founder, Shelby, put forward a case to Cardiac Science. Once approved, the defibrillator was installed to the Golden Lion pub, the perfect hub at the centre of the town. As well as a central base for the running club to meet, the canal and trails nearby attract walkers and families. Thanks to this case, the local community can now make use of the defibrillator if needed.
It is truly inspirational to see how RunTogether groups such as Lions Running Community can make such an enormous difference to their local communities. In particular, supporting those in need. Like the Squirrels Running Group in Leicestershire, Lions Running Community have also partnered with local charity, Derian House, a local children’s hospice.
The club has supported the charity for many years. With their Christmas Craft runs, runners take arts and crafts to the local hospice to use throughout the year.
The festive time can be challenging for many people, especially those families associated with the hospice. To make these tough times brighter, the Lions Running Community raised a fantastic £100 to light up a Christmas tree in the gardens at the Derian House Children’s Hospice.
We spoke to the group founder Shelby as she reflected on her group’s support for both Derian House and the installation of the defibrillator.
“Derian House is an incredibly special place with amazing, dedicated people. It will always have a special place in my heart. The Landlady of the Golden Lion pub, where the defibrillator is situated, put a message out to the community support group. Within just a few short days the local people alongside the Lions raised the funds for a new battery to keep the defibrillator active. I think working with the community to continue and maintain the defibrillator showed just how much people come together for the things they believe in.”
Whether you are a small RunTogether group or have hundreds of runners, everyone can give back to their community in some way, as Shelby suggests:
"Chat to your members about who or what you would like to support as this will motivate your runners to get more involved. You can then speak to local charities so that you work together for the best outcomes. With Derian House, we originally were going to do a traditional toy run for the children, but through discussions we found that they needed arts and crafts instead throughout the year. That small conversation meant we could better meet their needs.”
Looking for some more ideas of how to volunteer in your local community? Here are fantastic examples of more RunTogether groups throughout the country…
- Run Wallingford have been keeping their local community clean and tidy whilst still enjoying their runs through plogging. The team do both litter picking and jogging at the same time! They have also recently been involved in the hugely successful Food Bank Run.
- Gravesham Community Runners have been supporting their local hospice. The group have collected donations during their annual Christmas Lights Run, volunteered in the local community, and supported those in need. They have joined forces with another local running group to try and raise the necessary funds to buy a defibrillator.
- HLB Runners have found a unique way to engage with their runners, as well as raise funds for their local charity throughout the year. Each month the group hold a 100 number square competition at £2 per number. A number is drawn each month, with half the total collection going to the winner, and the other £100 going to the local charity each month for the entire year.
Do you have a story to tell?
Here at RunTogether, we love to hear all about your RunTogether stories and share these with our fantastic community. If you would like to share your running group’s story or journey, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.