One Step at a Time Run Club

One of our projects supporting people in the community is the Heads On "One Step at a Time" Run Group. This is a facilitated running course which began in Worthing, but now also operates in Crawley, Haywards Heath, and Eastbourne. The course is run in 12-week segments, building up to the 'graduation' of a 5 kilometre Parkrun.

One Step at a Time is delivered through Sussex Recovery College, which offers a variety of courses that focus on mental health and recovery, with the aim of promoting self-management and well-being. All Recovery College courses are co-produced and co-delivered by people with lived experience of mental health issues, called peer trainers. The One Step at a Time course is facilitated by a peer trainer, who uses his experience of running for mental health recovery to encourage others.

Anyone can sign up to the course via Sussex Recovery College; they can be past or present service users, SPFT staff or members of the public who want to maintain their mental and physical health and learn to run in a supportive group. Importantly, it is free to attend, and there is no limit to the amount of times a participant can complete the course. The course was founded in 2019 by an SPFT member of staff, using fundraised money from running 5 marathons in 5 days.  The course relies on charitable donations to continue to operate.

As a result of Covid-19, the One Step at a Time groups are not able to meet up in person, but Whatsapp groups have been set up in each locality so participants can keep in touch with one another and receive running tips and advice from the run group facilitator. A closed Strava group and a closed Facebook group have also been set up. As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we are planning how we are safely able to re-start the in person training sessions.

The One Step at a Time run group gives people the opportunity to take part in exercise at their own pace alongside their peers, giving them the confidence to run and allowing them to experience the mental health benefits that group exercise can provide. One member of the group said “There is no doubt at all that my mental health is improved by running, and I have been really pleased to be part of … Heads On Run Club.”

If you are interested in joining the group, please email us and we can pass you on to the organisers.

How you can help

Whether you make a donation, attend an event or fundraise for us, every penny will help make life better for people with mental health problems.