Running Forever is a not-for-profit social enterprise aiming to improve physical and mental health by helping as many people as possible establish and maintain a lifetime running habit – hence our name.
In 2015, we successfully supported our local council’s Rother Active bid to Sport England, which enabled us to run four free Learn to Run courses and a First Steps to Fitness course for people with physical and mental health challenges. Since then, we’ve developed a range of running services (which you can read about below) and we now use the profits they generate to self-fund Learn to Run courses and other community initiatives, such as free kids’ running sessions in the summer holidays. Over 200 people have now been through one of our Learn to Run courses. We’re on a mission to create ‘Towns of Runners’ where running is normal, commonplace and easily accessible, no matter what your level, age, shape or size.
We are based in Rye, a historic East Sussex town perched on a hill with the English Channel on one side and miles of countryside on the other. A run here can take you through ancient woodland, vineyards or apple orchards, up and down rolling hills and along field borders, riverways and long sandy beaches. We love where we live and believe it’s one of the best-kept running secrets in the UK! Why not come and find out?
For local runners or wannabe runners, we have three running groups (Rye, Tenterden and Ashford), offering four coached sessions every week.
Our retreats strike a balance between ‘business’ and ‘pleasure’– you’ll have a great holiday (and a few beers!) with likeminded people but you’ll also work up a sweat, learn loads and go home a better runner.
Whichever Running Forever service you buy or event you attend, you will be contributing to our cause of helping more people find the physical, social and mental benefits of running.
Getting People Active
At last, Public Health England has realised that “physical inactivity is a major cause of disease and disability for adults in the UK. It negatively impacts the health, social and economic outcomes of individuals and costs the NHS in England millions every year”.
The World Health Organisation advises that “physical inactivity (insufficient physical activity) is one of the leading risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and death worldwide. To individuals, the failure to enjoy adequate levels of physical activity increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 20–30% and shortens lifespan by 3–5 years”.
Our own anecdotal evidence indicates to us that running - within your own limits - and with others, has helped people lose weight, reduce medication, gain confidence, make friends, become leaders and create communities.
Making a difference
Our area (Rother District Council) is the least active region in East Sussex. To show what can be done to help inactive people turn their lives around, Active Sussex made a film about our group, Rye Runners, and its impact on the local community.