Big Run project
The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) has worked with communities across Birmingham throughout the pandemic. We have maintained and built trust with communities in areas of high deprivation during a time of increased anxiety, isolation, and for many people crisis.
We have been working with those who could benefit the most from health and wellbeing interventions but face the most significant barriers to engaging and participating. Supporting them to identify, mitigate, and remove these barriers and provide opportunities into activity.
For some the first step is to transition into a community group from one of our 1-2-1 services, for others it can be hearing about us from a friend or seeing us at your local.
our sessions are a great way to explore your community, meet others, socialise and create friendships that last outside the session.
Our group activities take place in local parks. They follow the wellbeing walk model whereby people are able to get active, meet others, chat, and get other support if they need it. All of our running groups are managed via a TAWS senior-run leader but are led predominantly by volunteers.
Meet the Walk/Run team
Hi, I’m Sally and I am the Walking and Running Coordinator at TAWS. I joined the organisation in 2018 from Sport Birmingham where my role as a Run Activator continued. I became the Walking and Running Coordinator in August 2021. I started my running journey in April 2014 after separating from my ex-husband and recognising that I needed to do something for myself and that I should probably do a bit of exercise. I started out going to parkrun once a week and found that I loved how I felt afterwards. I enjoyed the support I received and also enjoyed encouraging and supporting other people. I felt very lucky when a few years later after having moved back to the Midlands, a job supporting people in this way came up. I occasionally enter half marathon events now with the occasional 6 hour event thrown in too and enjoy playing softball in the summer with my team Coventry Blitz.
Hi, my name is Rahema and I have been in the run/walk team for just under a year. I started running back in November 2018 when I decided to get more active and joined the couch to 5k program with a local running group. After completing my graduation 5k run in January 2019, I continued running and sharing my new found passion with friends (and anyone who would listen to me!). Eventually I completed a Runleader course to help others like me who thought that running may not be for them. I have since completed two marathons and many half marathons and am training for my third marathon and an ultra marathon this year!
Hi my name is Tracey Fogarty and I am part of the run walk team. My run journey restarted in 2018 being unfit, overweight and menopausal needing to improve my health and wellbeing. I continued with the run groups for a few years building my confidence and ability and went on to become a volunteer . In 2023 I became a part time member of the TAWS team, leading both run and walking groups in the local areas of Shard End, Tile Cross, Sheldon, Pype Hayes and Castle Vale. I am also part of a running group that book events and days, out supporting each other, promoting physical exercise, achieving their goals whilst supporting a small charity.
I noticed straight away that there were others like me from all ages living alone, some with families living not far away and I also discovered as days went by that not only people turned up to keep fit, had health issues but that we had a lot of things in common such as gardening, sharing historical stories from the local area, laughter, sewing, art ideas, DIY, photos, triviality too.
The run leaders are there to help and support everyone by motivating and
encouraging the group to persevere, helping to change any doubts you had before
Couch to 5K helped me get back into running after an injury and a long break from running. I had tried to get into outdoor running on my own without any success. The group gave me the confidence and instruction to build up my pace while being surrounded by supportive like-minded people. Without Couch to 5K I think I would have given up.
5k Running Group
When my grandchildren’s school held a ‘couch to 5k’ programme I decided that this was the goal I needed to work towards! ...I keep running because of the other people in my group. They are so inspirational. I’ve never really been much of a fan of exercise but running as a group is different. It gives you the push you need and you feel better after every single run.”
5k Running Group
Running has made me feel happier and helped me find friends from my local
area. My running group is great. We are comfortable with each other and
understand that we all have different running abilities. The social aspect of
running is amazing and it is something I look forward to every week.
After running my first ever run I discovered many other people who were just like me; from an Asian background, Muslim and women with similar body types as me who loved and could run! Some women who were larger than me finished before I did, as did some older women. They weren’t super-fit, super-competitive, super-models but normal, average-sized women who had similar fitness levels as I did. Which proves that anyone can be a runner or an active person.
TGC Fun Run