Background to the charity from Fitmums and Friends
We are a small local charity supporting and encouraging local people, of all levels of fitness and ability, to exercise together. We currently have 11 clubs including East Hull, Withernsea, Grimsby, Hedon and Goole. Our clubs are run by 150 volunteers and managed by just two staff members, engaging over 1020 local people in regular physical activity every week. Our aim is to build upon this over the coming 12 months.
At Fitmums and Friends we offer a variety of sessions including:-
Junior Athletic Groups
All the groups are led by local volunteers, helping people of all ages to get fit, stay fit and have an opportunity to socialise and make friends. We also place a great emphasis on raising the awareness of mental health and the benefits of exercising to help achieve a good state of mental wellbeing.
In this 21st century, people in the UK are unfit and unhealthy. The growing obesity epidemic across the UK is evidence of this. People are overweight and unmotivated to change despite ongoing national campaigns to encourage people to exercise more and eat less. Obesity brings with it an increased risk of many serious diseases and health conditions, including –
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Coronary heart disease
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
Mental illness such as clinical depression and anxiety or other mental disorders
How do we help?
We currently have 1020 people running/walking with Fitmums & Friends every week. We appeal to everyone as Fitmums & Friends is not about running to compete in a competition, or to become a world class athlete or even to run in a marathon.
It is about running to improve fitness, make friends and belong in a community group that share a desire to get out of the house, do some free, local exercise and meet people along the way. It is easy, local, friendly, inexpensive and right in the heart of their community and so people want to get involved. Our continually growing membership demonstrates this.
Keeping people fit, active and healthy now has the potential to save vast sums of money in the future, reducing the burden on the NHS. Keeping fit, healthy and working also reduces the likelihood of them needing to claim long-term sickness benefits in the future because of ill health. It also supports positive mental health and reduces depression and other debilitating emotional health problems, again reducing the burden to the NHS.
All of this also reduces the burden to society and communities. Fitmums & Friends is a very good example of people helping themselves and working together to create stronger, fitter and active communities.