Our history

Jogging Buddies Story

jogging buddies anniversary cakeActive Communities was established as a result of the success Jogging Buddies.

Jogging Buddies was set up in 2003 to promote walking and jogging in the Paisley area. We started with a group of 15 mums at Ralston playgroup, who met on a Friday morning while their children were at playgroup. At the end of the first beginners course all the mums wanted to continue jogging and a group of parents, who worked during the day, asked for an evening group. Funding from Have a Heart Paisley allowed us to set up an evening group and to train new leaders. We gradually added new venues and grew into a successful and highly regarded voluntary organisation with 10 venues in Renfrewshire, 300 members, 70 trained jog leaders and 3 jogscotland tutors

Not content with just encouraging adults to become more active, we began to offer family sessions and organise events. The first Jingle Bell Run attracted 75 runners and 1 dog, 11 years later we have 300 runners and (at the last count!) 4 dogs.

In 2007, Jogging Buddies approached jogscotland about developing a junior programme. We wanted to show children that physical activity could be fun. Junior jogscotland was developed and piloted in Renfrewshire and is now in every local authority in Scotland.

Jogging Buddies Awards 2013We also worked with jogscotland to develop a new programme to encourage mums to become more active. We developed “Mums on the Run” offering walking/jogging and Buggy Buddies classes for mums. This programme was so much more than physical activity, we realised that we were able to not only improve fitness but improve self confidence, self esteem and mental health and well being. This was a real turning point for us as an organisation.

In 2009 Jogging Buddies was delighted to win three national awards at the Scottish Athletics Annual Awards; Community Group of the Year, Jog Leader of the Year and Achiever of the Year and in 2011 won the jogscotland Achiever of the Year Award. This was real recognition on the national stage of all the hard work of the Jogging Buddies team.

In 2010 the group received charitable status and the decision was taken to change the company name to Active Communities. The name change was considered essential at this time given the aspirations of the organisation to build on our success in delivering physical activity and well being programmes. The new name was a better reflection of the range of work undertaken in local communities. The “Active “ in Active Communities not only refers to being physically “active” to improve fitness/health but also encouraging people to be community “active” to improve local communities and make positive changes.

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