United We Run – Bolton

WOMEN leaders from across Bolton donned their trainers for a 2.5k walk and a 5k run through the town centre and Queens Park on Saturday, 6 January, aiming to inspire women in communities to embark on a journey towards a happier and healthier life.

United We Run is a groundbreaking national initiative designed to empower women to prioritise their health and wellbeing and has been brought to Bolton thanks to a collaboration between Bolton GP Federation, Bolton Council, Bolton Wanderers in the Community and Her Spirit.

The group of around 25 women, representing all ages, stages of life and fitness levels, also pledged to run or walk 31 miles in 31 days throughout January – with the emphasis not being on speed or distance, but on the collective journey towards becoming fitter, stronger and healthier.

Her Spirit is a mobile fitness app that creates a female only community that motivates, coaches and connects women together, helping them to get started, stay motivated and meet other like-minded women to talk, walk, run, swim and cycle together in real life.

As part of the Bolton movement, women are also being supported with a 10-week run course across the borough and in our communities to ignite and connect women to run together and run safely. And thanks to sponsorship from Bolton GP Federation and the team at Her Spirit, access to the Her Spirit app will become available for free to 12,000 Bolton women who currently struggle to access or afford online support and coaching.
Bolton GP Federation Chief Officer, Michael Smith, said: “Exercise is the one thing that can have the biggest impact on people’s health and happiness – and if we could bottle that and prescribe it in a pill, we would.

“As part of our commitment to tackling health inequalities, we want to do everything we can for Bolton people to get the most out of being more active. This sounds simple, but we hear just how hard this can be when juggling lives, families and other commitments.

“In talking to and listening to our communities, we identified some key things that we could do to help make this a bit easier. Working with partners and our communities, we will soon be handing out free access to the Her Spirit online community, with access to coaches, virtual challenges and live online classes.”

Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Wellbeing, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “It is extremely important that we work together to increase physical activity amongst women, to help narrow the gap of ill health when compared to men.

“We are committed to working with our partners to create opportunities, including United We Run, to remove barriers so that anybody can get involved no matter what level of ability.

“With a rich heritage in sport and being the host town for IRONMAN UK, the world’s largest IRONKIDS and Night Run, there are lots of events for local people to aim for.”

Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Cllr Rabiya Jiva, said: “I am delighted to be part of the United We Run campaign to inspire women in our communities to start their fitness journey. It was a privilege to take part in the Bolton launch run on Saturday amongst other local partners. With the aim of closing the ethnicity gap and encouraging women from all backgrounds to join in, I am committed to ensuring women feel safe whilst out running.”

Holly Woodford, Co-Founder of Her Spirit, said: “We know that women have multiple barriers to being active and over the last three years 500,000 women have already dropped out of running, yet 6.7 million women want to run1.
“Issues around safety are also a real issue and a global survey by Adidas in 2023 found that 92% of female runners felt unsafe running outside. Working with Bolton is so important to buck these trends and we are excited to be partnering to make a real difference to women in Bolton and around the country.”

Head of Community at Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Richard Slater, said: “The vision of Bolton Wanderers in the Community is to create a connected Bolton without disadvantage, and both the United We Run initiative and Her Spirit fitness app align perfectly with this.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners and communities to deliver access to the Her Spirit online community. The ability the app has to bring people together can have a positive impact on the number of women feeling inspired, connected and safe to exercise.”

More information can be found at www.unitedwerun.co.uk/bolton/

Notes to Editors:

The following organisations were represented at Saturday’s launch walk and run:

  • Bolton GP Federation
  • Bolton Council
  • Bolton Public Health
  • Bolton Wanderers in the Community
  • Bolton Integrated Care Partnership
  • Bolton CVS
  • The Bolton Family
  • GMP
  • Bolton NHS FT
  • Bolton FM

For further information contact:

Jack Ayling

Communications Officer