Not for Profit

Published: July 17, 2022 | Updated: July 17, 2022

Hospice charity launches a nine-week fitness programme to train you to run 5k by October

Barry Wilson has already signed up to Macmillan Caring Locally’s Couch to 5k programme, which will see beginner runners trained by coaches including Tracey Valentine.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A charity which supports the Macmillan Unit hospice in Christchurch has launched a fundraising campaign which will train people to run 5k by October.

Macmillan Caring Locally’s Couch to 5k offers beginners NHS-proven fitness coaching at Littledown or Kings Park in Bournemouth, every Monday evening for nine weeks.

It will culminate in running as a team in the Supernova 5k at Run Bournemouth on Saturday October 8.

Participants will pay a one-off £30 fee to register which will go towards the continuing work of the hospice in providing specialist palliative care for around 1,600 people each year.

Barry Wilson, Events and Media Manager for Macmillan Caring Locally (MCL) has already signed up to the challenge.

He said: “I’m the first to admit I need to improve my fitness, mostly to be able to keep up with my two young sons.

“But, I really need some encouragement and proper coaching.

“Being part of the weekly training sessions is going to get me fit, give me an event to aim for and, of course, I’ll also be raising some money for the hospice.”

Tracey Valentine, Administrative Assistant for MCL, pictured with Barry, is one of the coaches who will be leading the weekly, one-hour training sessions.

She said: “A couple of years ago I had no experience of running.

“But a friend started taking me out and coaching me and I progressed from 10-minute runs, to 1k, 5k, 10k, a half marathon and now, this year, I am running the London Marathon for the hospice.

“Training with others is definitely the way to go.

“Whether people want to get into running, or just simply get fitter and have some fun doing it for a fantastic cause, we hope they will come and join us.

“In addition to their coaching, everyone will receive a training t-shirt, a Macmillan Caring Locally running vest and entry into the Supernova 5k.

“The coaches will also be running as part of the team and we will be encouraged by the official MCL ‘Cheer Squad’.

“It’s going to be fantastic!”

Training sessions begin on Monday August 8 and take place every Monday for nine weeks from 6.30pm-7.30pm.

To register your interest please email Barry Wilson at: