Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cassiobury Park 5km fun run on Saturday mornings

On Saturday mornings Cassiobury Park comes alive and plays host to a community 5km run. This morning 20th February 2016 I went down to learn more about the run and why almost 300 people now take part every week.

A big fan of the weekly run is James Martin who I first met at the +Reason ..... coffee shop and book store, located at the top of the Watford High Street in the Parade. James runs pretty much every week seeking to improve his personal best each time he runs. Today however he has surrendered his run to act as a steward helping out with the allocation of place tokens at the end of the race. It was here that I managed to catch up with him and find out why this Saturday run has become so popular so quickly.

This run is for everyone, there are people that finish the course in 14 minutes as James says in the video and others who walk the course. I saw one man finish today with his small baby in a push chair, there really is something for everyone. I had a quick conversation with both Sharon and Andy two of those responsible for getting this whole run up and going in the first place. They are both very proud of what has been achieved in less than one year. This is a totally free event for the people of Watford to join in with and the word has spread through word of mouth and on the facebook page. The fun run also has its own web page where people can register and sign up... this is located here.

There are other fun runs locally St. Albans, Aldenham and Oxhey to name 3 and each of them are popular, with St. Albans now getting 400+ running around the park each week. James said

"You get a real sense of community 'coming together' when people start to do something like this, working together and supporting each other"

James has already made new friends purely through the Cassiobury Park run and that is so amazing.

The key to these fun runs is the simplicity of it all. A few cones, a bit of tape and a sign to indicate the finish line along with a few people to help on the day and a fun run is born. Looking at the website this is an initiative to bring people together through activity on a global scale and although not for everyone it is yet another fine example of what can be achieved in community if we just take action.

I am away next weekend, but if you can make it on the 27th Feb please do get along and join in next Saturday. It will be the anniversary of the fun run. If you can't run, why not go down and cheer on those running, they will be glad of the support and who knows... it might inspire you to give it a go yourself!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Supported Internships... could you turn someone's life around?

There is something special going on down in Croxley Green... The +The Kitchen Croxley is a local bakery and coffee shop part of our South West Herts Coffee Union... more on that later...

Open for just over the year now the Kitchen Croxley team has thrown themselves into community work. Alongside baking and serving teas and coffee's +linda anderson and the team have built a business with a massive heart that is at the centre of the community. It is hard to imagine the time it was not there and the huge void that would be left if it were gone.

There is a huge but little known fact about the Kitchen Croxley though is that they are also a partner in the supported internship programme. Working with the +West Herts College, 3 days a week Alex works in the Kitchen alongside his colleagues in what can only be considered a life changing experience for everyone involved in this initiative...

You can read Linda's full article on their blog here... what if all our local businesses had community, people and relationships as the primary goal... wouldn't that be some place to belong...