Mind Matters on right track with a new Spalding running group

Vanessa Hills (third left) with members of the new running club. ANL-160429-173533001
Vanessa Hills (third left) with members of the new running club. ANL-160429-173533001
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More than 30 people have joined a new running club that was launched with the aim of promoting mental wellbeing through fitness.

The Community Mind Matters running group members are sporting brand new T-shirts as their season gets underway.

Vanessa Hills, who spearheaded the project, believes the summer runs will help take the group to new heights.

There is still an ambition to begin fundraising for an annual run that will take place around Spalding, but group organisers believe they should first focus on raising awareness of mental health problems and helping people through fitness.

Vanessa has high hopes for 2016 and believes the group is off to a great start.

She said: “Local interest is always growing.

“With the other projects organised by Community Mind Matters, it will grow even more.

“We now have plans to work with organisations like Spalding Health and Wellbeing (SHAW), so the future is bright.”

Emma Reilly, who discovered the running club online, said: “I feel part of the community and welcomed by the running group.

“Everyone is lovely and supportive. The group helps motivate me and keeps me going when things get tough.

“The group and running helps me at times when life can feel lonely.”

The T-shirts were funded by Community Mind Matters organiser Coun Jack McLean through his designated ward budget as a district councillor.

Coun McLean said: “For the minimal cost of funding this for the club, we are actually able to help make fitness and mental wellbeing a part of people’s identity.”

He said the group hopes it can continue to grow through the year and fundraise for future projects across the area.

Running club meetings take place at 11am on Fridays and 6pm on Tuesdays at the Castle Sports Complex track.

The club’s first run took place from the South Holland Centre on February 12, when all-comers were invited to take part.

• The running club is an offshoot of Community Mind Matters, which was set up last year to give people suffering from conditions like depression and anxiety the chance to meet, socialise, share solutions to problems and access help.

Vanessa, the driving force behind the group, told us in November: “There’s a lot of help out there.

“People don’t realise that it’s there. You don’t always have to go through the doctor’s to get help.”