Step Up 4 Good 2019: The running event that is a challenge, a celebration and gives back to the community

Since 2016, Greenham Trust’s annual 10k and family fun runs event, Step Up 4 Good has encouraged more than 1,800 people to get active. It has helped fund projects for many charitable organisations across West Berkshire and North Hampshire, including The Rosemary Appeal, Brighter Futures, Parenting Special Children, Parkinson’s, MS Therapy and many more.

For more than 20 years, Greenham Trust has been working with the local community, local authorities and other charities to improve the lives of inhabitants of Newbury and the surrounding areas. Having donated £58m across 5,000 charities, Greenham Trust has funded the development of and uses the market-changing online, not-for-profit matching platform The Good Exchange.

Step Up 4 Good 2019 will take place this October at one of the UK’s most prestigious racing venues, Newbury Racecourse. Priding itself as one of the most unique running events in West Berkshire, Step Up 4 Good accommodates runners of all ages and abilities and educates the next generation for a healthier future.

Organiser Chris Sumner of Racesolutions, who has already hosted the Royal Berkshire 10k and Endure24 events this year said, “We are passionate about producing exceptional running races that inspire people to run, our aim is to offer every runner, no matter their age, speed or goal, a sense of achievement, and lots of fun.”

Rewarding running

Ideal for those wanting to get fitter and healthier, Step Up 4 Good invites both the local community and those living afar to a fun, family day out that raises money for those in need. New to 2019, Step Up 4 Good is introducing a new flat and fast course for its main 10k race, perfect for competitive club athletes hoping to improve their personal best on a new course, as well as new runners looking to raise funds for their favourite charity.

British middle-distance runner and World Championship silver medallist, Hannah England will be making a guest appearance at this year’s event – starting each race and cheering along the runners. Hannah commented, “It’s fantastic to see a different kind of running event that encourages all ages and abilities to get involved, get active and also raise money for local charitable projects in need. It really is a win, win situation for all!

Hannah advises on what a runner can do to improve their training as they prepare themselves for a racing event, “I always map my running routes before a training run, so you leave your front door feeling confident and won’t need to check a map along the way.

“Also, I make sure the goals I set myself are realistic, I believe in and that excite me. If someone says, you have to run these many miles today, that can be daunting, so you’ve got to make choices that appeal to you and are right for you.

“Lastly, it’s really important that you fuel your body with proper nutrition and water before and after running.”

Last year’s 10k Step Up 4 Good female winner, Sarah Potter explains how the event is ideal for all abilities and shares her race winning secret, “Step Up 4 Good was thoroughly enjoyable – the crowd were great at helping to encourage runners to finish. I would definitely recommend the event to everyone, regardless of their running experience, it is perfect for those who just want to improve their fitness as well as competitive runners aiming to achieve a personal best.

“My advice on how to win would be to eat a nutritious, carb focused breakfast, I normally have a big bowl of porridge before I race. I would also encourage people to not run too hard too early, pace yourself and go out nice and steady and then pick it up half way.”

Louise volunteers at Living Paintings, which work to provide tactile and audio books for adults and children with visual impairment. She shares why she chose to run and raise money for charity, “I love reading books, and it is so important that books are available for everyone. I signed up for the three-kilometre race and decided to raise sponsorship for a project local to me, so I can see my community, friends and family benefit.”

Activating pupils’ community spirit

Inspiring children to feel the benefits of leading a more active lifestyle, Greenham Trust is inviting primary and secondary schools to ‘step up’ and take part in this year’s runs. Pupils are also being encouraged to get involved and use the race as a fundraising opportunity, where they can raise money for their own school projects or select one from The Good Exchange platform.

Teachers, governors, group leaders and parents can simply download the Step Up 4 Good ‘Schools Toolkit’ online. It includes all the essential information and a step-by-step planning guide to help make the organisation process really easy.

As well as working in partnership with West Berkshire Council, to support the West Berkshire’s Let’s Get Active Fund, Greenham Trust is offering local state schools the chance to win £500 for a school project of their choice. Schools who register ten or more runners in any race will automatically be entered into a prize draw, when referencing their school name upon entry.

Kate Flowerdew, Headteacher at Spurcroft Primary School in Thatcham and winner of the 2018 schools prize draw explains how the £500 has made a difference, “The money given to us was used to purchase thermoplastic footprints for the school playground to complete the active walk around the perimeter of the school. We like to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage all children to get involved with sports at school and within the local community, so the money has given pupils more opportunities for physical and personal development.”

Libby Bucknell, Headteacher at Robert Sandilands Primary School in Newbury also winner of the school’s prize draw explains how delighted her school were to receive the cheque at Step Up 4 Good 2017, “The whole community can now benefit from the fact that the pupils will get more opportunities for physical and personal development. We could never afford to complete this project without the help of Greenham Trust.”

In 2018, pupils from St Nicolas C of E Junior School, Willows Primary School, Speenhamland Primary School, Curridge Primary School, St John the Evangelist Infant and Nursery, John Rankin School and Horris Hill School all raised funds for their own school projects via The Good Exchange.

New for 2019, Step Up 4 Good have introduced The Para-Mile. It is open to children under 15 with a disability or impairment, and gives children the opportunity to run, jog or walk the course for free.

Adrian Smith, Group Managing Director of Swift Logistics Group, who are sponsoring the Para-Mile this year said, “We are very passionate about our corporate responsibilities and wanted to support this event by sponsoring the para-mile – so it gives everyone a chance to take part.”

Giving back to the community you live, work and play in

Health and wellbeing are just as important in the office as they are at home. Employers that promote healthy working lives help to reduce stress and health issues in employees, which in turn increases productivity and helps to retain staff.

Greenham Trust is therefore encouraging local businesses to get involved in Step Up 4 Good 2019 by using the event as a team building opportunity and registering their own teams or volunteering.  

Adrian Smith explains why the Swift team are getting involved, “Our community matters to us. We recognise our responsibility to support and care for the communities in which we are privileged to operate in. We focus all our charitable work and donations upon projects and causes which positively impact our community.

“As well as sponsoring the Para-Mile, we have a team running and volunteering too. It’s a great way to bring your employees together outside the workplace and I’d encourage other businesses to get involved.”

Attending the event for a second year, Jason Briley, owner of SuperFit Bootcamp explains why he is eager to be involved again, “Step Up 4 Good is a fantastic event that brings people together from all walks of life to raise money for deserving causes. It’s not only rewarding to support a feel-good event but as a small business owner, it’s an ideal opportunity to network with people who have similar interests and goals.”  

If running really isn’t your thing, Step Up 4 Good offers a number of volunteering opportunities for anyone who wants to join in without putting on their trainers.

Having volunteered as a race marshal for the past two years, Sharon Chapman shares her volunteering experience, “I think it’s really important to get involved with the community and give back. Volunteering allows you to see what amazing local charitable groups are available, that you may not have known existed unless you see people running in their shirts. For runners, it’s fantastic to have someone enthusiastic cheering you on, especially if it’s their first time running – having a friendly face supporting them really gives them a lift.

“The best thing about volunteering is seeing the runners faces when they cross the line, it’s a great sense of achievement and people work really hard, so when you see everyone together holding their medals, it’s a lovely feeling.”

Take part and get involved

Set to be bigger and better, Step Up 4 Good 2019 promises to provide fantastic indoor facilities, licensed bar and plenty of entertainment for both runners and spectators to enjoy as it relocates to Newbury Racecourse.

Chris Boulton chief executive of Greenham Trust encourages everyone to step up, “We would like to see a lot more children from Newbury and beyond getting more active and involved in what is to be West Berkshire’s most popular event on the running calendar.”

Harriet Collins, Marcomms and Sponsorship Director at Newbury Racecourse said, “We are delighted that Greenham Trust chose to host their special event with us. It is a great opportunity for us and we feel privileged that we can help to provide an occasion that brings together the local community, whilst also attracting runners from far and wide. Together with its new venue, new races and inspiring community atmosphere, Step Up 4 Good 2019 is not to be missed.”

Come along to an exciting family day packed with entertainment, competitions, delicious food outlets and a buzzing race village with lots to see and do. One lucky member of the public will have the opportunity to win a Golden Ticket and allocate a total of £5,000 funding from Greenham Trust to one local charitable project or split the total across a number of charitable projects on The Good Exchange.

Ed Gairdner, Chief Operating Officer at The Good Exchange comments, “The Good Exchange’s charity-owned, matching platform has been designed to make it easy for fundraisers, grant givers and donors to come together to support charitable projects that are close to their hearts. Fundraisers running in events like Step Up 4 Good can, for example raise money for local charitable causes that are registered on The Good Exchange and their money could be doubled by match funding grants. Some local charities are actively seeking runners, so why not get a team together, run for a charity and fundraise via The Good Exchange.”

Seasoned professional, complete beginner, old or young, it really doesn’t matter. Step Up 4 Good is about more than just running, it’s about challenging ourselves, celebrating our community and raising money for the many worthy local community projects.

Register today for Step Up 4 Good 2019 on Sunday 13 October at Newbury Racecourse. To sign up, enquire about volunteering and for event details, visit www.stepup4good.co.uk/getinvolved.

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