Fit Villages


Since 2014, over 100 Fit Villages have been set up and 89% of them are still running over a year later. Here’s how some of the participants have benefitted.

MARGARET – Beginners Running, Kessingland

Margaret has attended the running group every week since January 2015, significantly improving her health, fitness and wellbeing. She feels fitter, happier and more confident as a result of being part of a group that have formed such a strong bond. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world because it’s like being in a family. I’m the oldest of our group and I walk while the others run. I also now walk briskly round Kessingland every day which takes me between 25 and 30 minutes. I feel so much better for doing it and I love the support from the girls in the group.

VAL LINDSELL – Tai Chi Classes, Mendham

Val contacted Fit Villages with a suggestion for a Tai Chi class in her village. This was quickly set up and Val acting as the ‘Fit Villages Activator’ for the project rallyed round to promote it, 26 people attended the first taster session. As a result of this success two more weekly classes were set up in Withersdale and Mendham Village Hall. The classes continue to grow from strength to strength, enabling an average of 20 local people to be more active every week. 


The regular Otago class in Stutton was set up in May 2013. Otago is a series of gentle exercises clinically proven to reduce falling with specific exercises to strengthen muscles and improve balance. Within the group there are people with osteoporosis, MS and osteoarthritis, along with numerous heart conditions. It’s a very sociable group, and time is always added after the exercise session for a chat over a cup of tea. The group also socialise outside of the project including a christmas party as they have become so close.


The Nordic Walking group was set up in September 2014 under the careful guidance of Nordic Walking UK instructor. The group started to learn how to Nordic walk and explore the local area during an 8 week beginners course. John Whitehead, a Lavenham resident and one of the participants said “As well as the fun and fresh air, we all started to experience the benefits of Nordic walking with a modest workout that tones the whole body and burns 46% more calories than normal walking. The group continues to meet and is still going strong today, with walks up to 3 miles a week.

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