11 June 2019 - Your Town, a community initiative aimed at improving fitness and well-being and encouraging local businesses, has now expanded to more towns across Hertfordshire.
It all began in their home town of Hoddesdon six years ago with “Give Your Town The Run Around”.
After a chance meeting at a Herts Chamber event in 2014 “Your Town” Founder & CEO Mark White set off making things happens in his home town of Hoddesdon, bringing the idea to life.
Fast forward a few years 2018 saw Rushden Town & Higham Ferrers be the first to take on a Your Town franchise, and now they are proud to announce another six towns are joining the Your Town Community, including Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Waltham Cross, Stevenage and Hertford.
These towns are all participating in Your Town "Get Togethers", an initiative which brings the local community together to run, walk or ride around their town. The events are for all ages and abilities taking placing on or close to the High Street, supported by local stalls and entertainment. It forms a focal point for showcasing all things local and is a perfect opportunity for sport clubs, charities, schools, colleges, businesses large and small to get together in the town and champion community spirit.
This original idea has become the blueprint for a model of running, cycling and walking events being rolled out by local communities and councils across Hertfordshire.
Mark White, the founder of Your Town, has spent the last few years supporting towns in delivering these events. Mark told us; “We are delighted and proud that more towns and partners across Hertfordshire are taking on this model. It's a great way to connect local communities and bring energy to high streets.”
“Your Town’s mission is to encourage more people to engage with their town and make them proud of where they live. We want to bring people together in town, in person, to connect with one another and strengthen their communities, meeting an important need.”
Rushden & Higham Ferrers towns have already organised two successful sell-out running events in Northamptonshire so far this year in a collaboration between local councils, businesses and community groups, raising money in for local charitable causes in the process. Ann Phillips, co-founder of “Running Buddies” said:
“We were lucky enough to be involved with the NN10 area of Your Town Get Together almost from the start. The local team needed the expertise of people in the running community and we were able to give this support.
However, it soon became something so much more. We’ve met new people and made new friends. We’ve been able to start building a community spirit that you can almost touch! We’ve now run two really successful events, one for adults and one for children, with more in the pipeline. As with all community events, some parts are hard work, but there is ALWAYS the payoff of absolute JOY on people’s faces as they take part in the events and talk to people they wouldn’t normally speak to.
For us, it has become an intrinsic part of who we are as a community group and we are very proud to be part of it.”
Local supporters/partners and sponsors of Your Town include The Ocado foundation, Herts Chamber of Commerce, The Hertfordshire LEP, The Herts Sports Partnership, North Hertfordshire Hospital Trust, VolkerWessels, MSD, Dacorum Council, Hertford House Hotel, CHEXS Children’s Charity, Watford Housing Trust and many more.