Volunteers' Week – England Athletics Award winner focus #MileShyClub

Last year the #MileShyClub won the England Athletics Innovation Project of the Year Award for the North West Region. Find out more about this project and how you can nominate in a range of categories including Club of the Year, Coach of the Year, Official of the Year and more.

Whether it is a club, coach, official, volunteer, project that supports individuals to overcome barriers to participation you can nominate NOW for the England Athletics Volunteer Awards 2018 at

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June we will be giving away five pairs of tickets to the Manchester International people who nominate their worthy volunteers! Nominate now to be entered into the draw!


Jane Wilby-Palmer, Founder of #MileShyClub brought us up to speed on their work since winning the award last year:

"The #MileShyClub is aimed at the beginners and this is what sets us apart from the other running clubs. Every session is set up for those just starting out, or those who have managed 5k and want to be faster. It is a drop-in session for those who want to give us a try with no need to commit to a longer course. We are accessible, affordable (£2 a session) and highly committed to bringing the sport of running to everyone.

"We are a running club, but focus heavily on making the club social and fun. Everyone has busy lives, and we appreciate that, so our sessions are pay-as-you-go. Whilst we focus on getting people into running, and celebrate the success of our runners completing their first 5k, we also don’t dwell on those who might take longer to get there. Life is hard enough without the added pressure of trying to complete a certain distance within a certain time.

"The #MileShyClub has had a stellar year since we won the North West award for innovation last year. In December 2017, we collaborated with the BBC #GetInspired campaign and our sessions are featured on their website. We also organised an informal community Santa Run, an event we are hoping to establish as a permanent feature of the Sale community this Christmas.

"January 2018 was frantic! We started #MileShyClub Newcastle on the 8 January, almost a year after the Sale club was formed. We featured locally in the Sale Messenger newspaper, both in print and online, and one of our runners, Lisa Megson, was featured in the Manchester Evening News and the Great Run documenting her amazing weight loss of 14 stone.

"Since we last saw you, we have raised thousands for charity. From September last year, funds from every Tuesday night session were donated to the Mental Health Foundation as part of club founder Jane’s London Marathon effort. We organised a group event at the Gauntlet Games in September, raising hundreds of pounds for St Ann’s Hospice. Early in the year, we invited a guest speaker, ‘FlipperKeatz’ to attend the club. FlipperKeatz aka Craig completed his flipper walk from the east to west coast last month in aid of The Christie. We raised funds for his epic journey following his visit. Taking part in the Manchester 10k saw many of our runners (30 from the Sale club) raising money for various charities, and on the anniversary of the Manchester attacks, we donated our funds from the Tuesday night session to the We Love Manchester Fund.

"Focusing on being a social group, we all made the journey to Delamere Forest parkrun in February and saw our runners, including first timers, tackle the hilly course in atrocious conditions, but still with a smile. There was cake too which always helps. We have also since visited Wilmslow parkrun as tourists, and this weekend we are conducting our first volunteer takeover at Sale Water parkrun. We’ve collaborated with Winston Runners, sharing information on best practice and attending each other’s sessions to learn and to build friendships. Our Summer social this year has been upgraded from a drink in the pub to a cruise and dinner along the canal.

"#MileShyClub Stockton-on-Tees started on the 18th April, closely followed by #MileShyClub Leeds on the 17th May. We also have #MileShyClub Nottingham starting on the 11th June.

"An award of funding from the Trafford Housing Trust kept us in funds to buy some much needed equipment, and we splashed out and used some of the money to buy bean bags for our warm up games! In all seriousness, we have managed to acquire money from a variety of different sources. Three groups of our runners marshalled at the Manchester marathon and we received some much-needed funding from the organisers. On top of that, we also received funding from an anonymous donor for some #MileShyClub branded t-shirts and vests.

"From various funds received by the club we have been able to train new Run Leaders, not just in Sale but also at our other clubs. As well as this, we have been able to provide first aid training to some of our Run Leaders, plus three of our Run Leaders at Sale have either taken part or are due to take part in Guide Leader training. We have also found out this week that we are due to receive funding from Xtra Mile events towards further first aid training, and Tesco’s have also confirmed that we will be featured in stores in and around Stretford as part of their local community fundraising support."