Welcome to our running group

About our group

History & formation – Back in 2017, Will and Harriet, both NHS mental health nurses, were given some funding through their employer, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to trial running for mental health programmes in the community. There is wide ranging academic evidence that shows physical activity has significant positive impacts on mental and those of us on those first few programmes certainly felt these benefits. However, within the current economic climate the NHS funding came to an end.


By this time a number of us were reaping the benefits of the group and did not want it end. And from here Hard Yard Running Club was established. Post run discussions, over brews and biscuits (obviously) in Gripper’s kitchen, led to the establishment of a committee and constitution and ultimately a community group.


The committee is currently made up of;

  • Chairperson – Russell Nash
  • Deputy Chairperson – Paul Flannery
  • Secretary – Sandra Moore
  • Treasurer – Patrick Moore


The key line from our constitution is; “Membership shall be open to anybody who feels that their mental health and wellbeing would benefit from engaging in the activities of the Association (Hard Yards Running Club)”


Membership – In order to become a member of Hard Yards we ask for a membership fee of £10 per month, or if you attend less frequently £2.50 per session. This is payable on the 1st of the month either by bank transfer directly into the HYRC bank account or in cash at the Tuesday evening session. For anyone who is not in a financial position to make the payment, just let Pat know confidentially, we wouldn’t want to exclude anyone.


Costs & funding – We make good use of our surroundings in Stretford and of course the running element is free, however, the running is only part of the Hard Yards offer. The fees cover the costs of the room at Stretford Public Hall, refreshments, club t-shirts, insurance, head torches and run leader training. When mobilising the group, we successfully applied to Trafford Council for a grant, this covers the costs up to March 2020. We hope to apply for other grant opportunities and if successful we may be in a position to review the membership fee in the future. The group is not for profit, so if we do get to the point where there is a significant surplus we will agree as a group how we manage this.


The nature of funding applications means evidencing impact. Which in-part contradicts our philosophy of keeping the group as informal as possible. We don’t want to spend our time filling in questionnaires, so we need to strike a balance with this. There are a couple of simple asks to help;


  • There will be a register at the Tuesday session, please sign in. This gives us a record of the number of people who are attending, it’s then easy to look back and put these figures in funding applications.
  • Affiliating your parkrun profile to Hard Yards Running Club also helps. This enables us to see how many attendances that we’ve had at parkrun as a club, as their system calculates this for us.


Purpose – It’s not always easy to chat whilst you’re running and trying to breathe! So, the post-run chat space is important to the purpose of Hard Yards. In this space, everyone is free to disclose as much or as little as they wish regarding their mental health. It’s important that this remains a safe space for all.


Again, in terms of keeping the group informal you are by no means obliged to stay after the run but everyone is more than welcome to, we have the room at the Public Hall until 9pm.


Next steps – If you wish to become a member, continue to attend the Tuesday sessions, at 7pm at Stretford Public Hall. The bank details will be posted in the Facebook group. If you’re not on Facebook, just ask someone for them.


There will not be another Couch to 5k programme until nearer to the summer. We want to the group to settle and properly form to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to get to know each other better and gets a good run in each week.


The Hard Yards Couch to 5k programmes have kindly been supported by Chorlton Runners. Their Sunday morning run at Chorlton Water Park is an open session, it’s free for anyone to attend those, you’ll just join one of the paced runs.


Most importantly, if you’re feeling unwell, reach out. We’re all there for a shared purpose. In the short time that Hard Yards has been around, we’ve supported each other through some challenging times. The nature of our mental health is that there will be ups and downs, we’ve all been there. Reach out in a way that works best for you; to an individual, to a small group, via the closed Facebook group, phone, messenger, etc. The running is there to help but the people are what makes the group.


If you have any further questions or queries, just give one of the regulars a shout and we’ll be happy to help.


Many thanks,


Hard Yards Running Club Committee 😊


Contact Group

Contact details

Will Reekie - Group Leader

Meet our Team

Our locations


Back room at Stretford Public Hall

Stretford Public Hall