At Leeds Building Society, we are committed to supporting the local communities of our members and colleagues, so are proud to announce a new partnership with parkrun.
Established over a decade ago, parkrun is a volunteer-led, not-for-profit organisation providing free weekly running events for people of all ages and abilities. With over 500 events taking place every weekend, and over 100,000 participants running and volunteering each week, parkrun plays a huge role in helping people engage with their local communities throughout the UK.
Our support will not only help ensure parkrun stays free for everyone, it will enable parkrun to bring even more people together to connect with their local communities.
About our partnership
Leeds Building Society’s partnership with parkrun is just that – a partnership – designed to bring communities together.
Our recent research shows that across the UK people are eager to meet and get to know others in their local community, but that it is often difficult, with less than 20% of adults surveyed feeling there are still as many opportunities to meet local people as there used to be*.
We think that parkrun is a powerful initiative to really help bring communities together, and is a brilliantly simple way for adults and families to make local connections and friendships whilst getting fit and active at the same time.
As well as supporting parkrun to help ensure the event continues to stay free for everyone, we’ll be collaborating on a number of initiatives to help make parkrun accessible to more people, and to support a range of wider community projects.
Like parkrun, we also champion volunteering – we encourage all colleagues to support good causes in their areas. We’ll be supporting volunteers across both organisations to help deliver and grow existing events, help bring parkrun to new communities and to inspire and help enable the parkrun community to bring real benefits back to their local neighbourhoods.
parkrun started life in 2004 with just 13 people taking part in a weekly run in Bushy Park, Teddington. The idea of a free, weekly run with friends proved to be a popular one and soon more people began to join in. It wasn’t long before parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt established the second event in nearby Wimbledon
In 2007 Leeds became the first location outside London to host a parkrun, with the launch of Woodhouse Moor parkrun - and since then they’ve not looked back. After celebrating one million unique participants across the country in the year of 2016 alone, parkrun has become nothing short of a national phenomenon.
The concept is simple: a free weekly walk, jog or run for people of all ages and abilities. 5k on a Saturday for adults, and 2k on a Sunday for juniors. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, or what you’re wearing. It’s about taking part, whether running or volunteering.
At its heart, parkrun is dedicated to inclusivity, and aims to help as many people as possible feel part of their community.
Our Community Heroes programme puts a spotlight on the brilliant people who have used the power of parkrun to bring real benefit to the lives of others. From those who passionately encourage people from all backgrounds to try parkrun for the first time, to those who’ve encouraged fellow parkrunners to help support local causes and initiatives, we want to put a spotlight on the Community Heroes of parkrun.
Our first Community Heroes’ winner is Timi Veerasamy, who was nominated by Vennisa Chowdhury.
The event at Barking and Dagenham junior parkrun had very low numbers, but Timi worked tirelessly to drive participation levels by visiting local schools and finding innovative methods of getting kids helping with set up, warm up and pack down.
Congratulations and thank you for all your tireless effort.
If you think someone from your parkrun who is making a difference in your community and deserves to be celebrated as a Community Hero you can nominate them here
Find out more
To find out more about parkrun, and how you can get involved in your local event, please visit www.parkrun.org.uk.
Please follow our social media channels to learn more about how we’re supporting parkrun bringing communities together.
* Survey conducted nationally by Leeds Building Society in April 2017 amongst 2000 UK adults.