Woodlands Hospice | Hospice Care for North Liverpool, South Sefton and Kirkby in Knowsely

0151 529 2299

Purpose in new paths

Chris Beyga, Woodlands Hospice Events and Challenges Manager, describes the difference going from team to solo has made to her running group and how new circumstances are helping for the greater good.

I am a runner. I say that but think of myself more of a plodder – or jogger, as one of my colleagues calls me. I run before work a couple of times a week but on Sundays join a group of friends, the Sunday Smilers, for runs/­bimbles/­jogs. It’s are a real social activity with much chat and laughter. This stopped when lockdown came in so it got me thinking about how I was going to motivate myself to get out and keep active on my own, which I was going to find quite a challenge. I wondered how to keep our group connected while at the same time ensuring everyone was coping okay.

I came up with the idea of us doing a virtual challenge on our solo runs while at the same time keeping in touch through social media. As result, we’ve all now signed up for the Woodlands Hospice 10-in-10 challenge so that we’re making an important contribution where there is great need. We post photos of our solo runs and keep in touch on our Facebook page, accompanied by lots of banter and taking the mickey out of each other – after all, that is how we roll! From local streets to wooded areas and beaches, each of us is out there doing the miles.

Many in our group have said that without the challenge they probably wouldn’t have gone out for a run or any exercise at all, so it’s great that we have a shared and common purpose motivating us to keep going. This very real boost to each person’s mental health through such a positive way of staying in contact is at a time when it would be very easy for people to become disconnected and lonely when they are isolated at home.

There are now more than 50 of us, which makes for a really busy and active forum. And you never know what you’ll find when you’re taking in the outdoors – one of members found a £20 note on her solo run , which she’s donated to our charity. Every cloud…

We’re all hoping the restrictions will be lifted in time for us to do the last couple of runs together. Finishing the challenge as a group and having a kind of medal ceremony before enjoying a famous ‘Smiler’s Brekky’ would be brilliant. But giving each other the biggest hugs at the end would of course, be the biggest boon of all.

For full details or to sign up for the 10-in-10 or Walk for Woodlands Million-Step challenges, visit:

To chat about your own fundraising challenge ideas, call our team on 0151 529 2630 or email woodlands.events@aintree.nhs.uk.