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Celebrating Together Fund! East Durham Running Club

by | Jun 26, 2023 | News

Through the Together Fund, Sport England and the National Lottery are providing community organisations with extra support to help local people get active. County Durham Sport supported East Durham Running Club with their successful Together Fund application. This is their story.

East Durham Running Club are a community club based in Easington Colliery and the surrounding villages. They are open to all abilities and have a specific focus on attracting people who are looking to take up running. Through the Together Fund, they have delivered indoor skills and drills sessions through winter and two courses of 10-week Couch to 5k in Shotton and Easington.

County Durham Sport team member Miles Lowson recently visited their Couch to 5k session to see how things have been going.

What’s been going well?

The Couch to 5k sessions are very popular with people in East Durham, with a whopping 21 people attending!

The sessions provide a safe space where people can build their fitness up away from judgement. The sessions are constructed in a way that pushes participants just the right amount to ensure they are making progress but also enjoying themselves. This makes sure people feel positive about running. Participants told me how they surprised themselves with how much they could run, and that running as a group and with their friends spurs them on to run more. Some participants suggested through the Couch to 5k, they felt confident enough to attend other running groups.

People were delighted at seeing themselves improve week by week. The Couch to 5k app sets people “homework runs” to do outside of the session. People told me how they would do the homework runs as well as extra runs to make sure they were in the best possible condition when attending the group. Once the runs were completed, everyone had the feel-good factor that running provides and were buzzing to be well on their way to completing the Couch to 5k course.

There was an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere at the group, where everyone tended to mix and talk to each other. This, alongside the great views of the sea in Easington, made the session one not to miss!

East Durham running club received resilience/capacity building support through the Together Fund and by working with Durham Community Action. Here’s what Kaye (Run Leader) had to say about their support:

“They have been invaluable to us as a club and helped us through the process of becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and made sure our governance is all in order.”

“Craig Hampton has been extremely helpful to us, and we appreciate all the support he has given. It has opened doors for online training courses that the club has accessed, including the role of a trustee and mental health first aid. I would recommend Durham Community Action to any organisation that needs to be constituted.”

What could be improved?

Future funding could be based around training volunteers so that they can support sessions. They would also love to host their own events; having access to equipment such as a gazebo would really help them do this. They would also like to have the opportunity for more East Durham Running Club branded t-shirts to give to participants for free, as this would make everyone feel included.

County Durham Sport is proud to be able to support organisations like East Durham Running Club to make a difference to the lives of County Durham communities. Join us in celebrating the amazing impact of this Sport England/National Lottery funding by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #TogetherFund.