Read about how Fitmums & Friends combats loneliness and how one member's own health and wellbeing has been improved since taking those first steps in joining a supportive and fun group.
Fitmums & Friends is a volunteer-led local charity that offers activity sessions and programmes to help people be more active and feel more connected. Its fun and friendly sessions include running, walking, cycling and boot camp, and are suitable for all.
Volunteer leaders can support complete beginners and those who already exercise regularly, so everyone is welcome: men and women (16+), and all abilities. Find a session near you here.
If you are anxious about coming along for the first time, just get in touch!
The group has lots of ways it can help with that, such as meeting you in the car park so that you don't have to walk in alone.
If you feel you would benefit from more support, look into its In the Pink support scheme which is for anyone who feels they need a little extra help to go along to a club session.
And if finances are a barrier, find out about its Mike Barlow Memorial Fund which might be able to help.
All of these support options are explained here.
Fitmums & Friends also runs free programmes for people who are dealing with the death of someone close. Its bereavement programmes offer easy-paced walks or gentle yoga sessions with others who share your experience, followed by a cuppa and a chat. Again, more info on this can be found here.
A member told us how the group has made a positive difference to her health and well-being after she decided to go along to Beverley Fitmums & Friends one Tuesday morning:
I was extremely nervous, as I wasn’t in a good place at the time. I was taking medication for depression, I really had to push myself to go.
"I received a warm welcome on arrival, and joined the walking group. I walked for the first two sessions that I attended. Then I decided to try running a mile. I was able to do this as Fitmums & Friends uses a shepherding technique which means that no-one is ever left behind.
[In time] I took part in my first 10k road race at Normanby Hall. I was able to run the whole route without having to walk.
Without the support of other Fitmums & Friends members each week, I wouldn’t be running today.
I have ran a couple of times on my own but, as I don’t enjoy running alone, I haven’t done so again.
I have lost over two stone in weight since joining Fitmums & Friends, without really having to be too careful about what I eat.
Also, I am no longer taking antidepressants. I do still struggle when walking through the door at Fitmums & Friends.
I explained this to Laura, one of the leaders. Laura always greets me with a wave and a lovely smile, and this really helps me.
I have told my story with honesty, in the hope that anyone reading it who may experience similar problems will know that at Fitmums & Friends, whether you want to walk or run, you will be supported in a kind and fun environment."
To find out more, please visit their website / or @Fitmums & Friends (Facebook) / @FitmumsF (X) / @fitmumsandfriends (Instagram) / @Fitmums & Friends (LinkedIn) - please select the tag for the platform you are posting on.
Fitmums & Friends are also looking for volunteers to help support the running of various groups and activities. To search for opportunities, please click here.