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Run Up To Christmas

Released: Thursday, 28 November 2019

Adur & Worthing Council staff are getting behind an initiative encouraging local residents to walk or jog in the Run Up To Christmas.

Run Things are based in Worthing and raised over £20,000 locally last December for mental health charity Mind.

Kevin Betts and Clare Rixton set up the business to promote the connection between physical exercise and mental health benefits.

Kevin said:

“Both of us have either had mental health issues or have been close to people with mental health issues in the past.”

“Our events now, although they are for absolutely anybody to take part in, originally they were devised for people who had anxiety or suffered with stress or agoraphobia.”

Now, Run Things are inviting local people to get involved with the fitness and fundraising enterprise.

The month long 'Run Up To Christmas' programme encourages local residents to run as many miles as they can before Christmas. At a time of year when some people in the community can feel lonely or isolated, the fitness initiative aims to encourage people to leave their homes and connect with people from their local area, while boosting their mental health through exercise.

Runners and teams are rewarded with medals for hitting milestones they set themselves from 50km right up to a whopping 250km. Connecting via social media a virtual community of teams and individual runners, walkers and joggers encourage each other to get off the sofa, while events and gatherings are organised in December to motivate those who've entered to get outside and take advantage of Adur and Worthing's outdoor spaces and make new friends.

The 'Run Up To Christmas' is supported by Adur & Worthing Councils' Thrive agenda which is working towards enabling our communities to thrive in their work and leisure, helping the public to lead healthy and fulfilled lives in which they are connected to each other and to the places in which they live and work.

The initiative, which donates a minimum of 50% of all profits to Mind, is encouraged by Adur & Worthing Councils, with staff members including Jo Clarke, Communities and Third Sector lead, getting involved.

Jo Clarke said :

“I'm really excited to do this again, I did it last year, and it really helped me out with general stress levels for December. I'm really fortunate and lucky to have two lovely children, but unfortunately both their birthdays are in December as well, so with Christmas, it isn't just about physical health for me, it's definitely about mental health, about getting out there, getting fresh air and change of scenery and looking after myself in December.”

The 'Run up to Christmas' starts on 1st December 2019, and for those surpassing their goals and running even further than their targets, there are extra special festive surprises, to keep participants motivated.

Kevin added:

“I think it's so important that local authorities and people in positions of power and influence get involved in this sort of stuff.”

“We are so passionate about Worthing, we absolutely love the place, and to see the Council getting involved and supporting the stuff we do is so important, we love it!”

Run Things also manage a running club in Worthing, as well as a virtual running club for those who don't want to exercise in large groups, and put on events in the local area.

See also:

Photo: Fiona Burn (left), Caroline Squires (middle) and Jo Clarke (right) from Adur & Worthing Councils - with Kevin Betts and Clare Rixton of Run Up To Christmas

PR19-166 - Fiona Burn (L), Caroline Squires (M) and Jo Clarke (R) from A&W Councils - with Kevin Betts and Clare Rixton


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