Local women taking part in a Hull FC Community Foundation project to empower women say they have found a different person within themselves since joining the programme.
‘Unite’ was launched at the start of winter, offering local women the chance to get active in a safe and non-judgemental space with a different session on offer each week, as activities ranged from yoga to boxercise.
Not only has physical wellbeing been on the agenda at ‘Unite’ sessions – so too has mental health, with a range of guests visiting to discuss mindfulness, coping mechanisms and even nutritional advice.
Since the project got underway in October, the Community Foundation has seen a huge influx of participants week by week, as positivity has seemingly spread by word-of-mouth.
Sarah, who has been attending the Unite sessions for several months now, said: “Unite has given me the opportunity to find the person inside me that’s not the mum, the wife or the manager at work. It gives me the chance to focus on myself and be more active.
“Recently, I had major surgery and illness. Just starting a gym membership didn’t feel like it would suit me in my situation because I felt I needed somebody to instruct me on what to do, whilst offering motivation at the same time. Plus, gyms can be quite intimidating, so you can sometimes feel reluctant to push yourself.
“But at Unite, it’s fantastic to talk to like-minded women and that makes me feel more comfortable, so I feel more inclined to work harder to achieve my goals. I like the fact that we have a small, close-knit group because I find it easier to open up about things like mental health.”
Jo, another regular attendee of Unite, had similar positive feedback from the sessions.
“From minute one of joining the group I was made to feel welcome by Maisie and the other group members,” she said.
“I have also encouraged my sister to go, as well as another friend, so the group has quickly grown and has a friendly vibe!
“Maisie has provided a different exercise experience each week so it never gets boring! She has invited a variety of other groups and speakers to attend over the coming months, which will give us all lots more opportunities to learn about nutrition, mental wellbeing and participate in new experiences like yoga, boxercise and clubbercise.
“We usually do the class for about 45 minutes, which doesn’t sound that long, but you definitely know you have done it by the end!”
Maisie Malton, Head of Health & Wellbeing at the Hull FC Community Foundation coined the ‘Unite’ project last year, hoping to bring local women closer together.
“Creating Unite with Hull FC has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge of health and wellbeing with other women,” she said.
“Becoming fitter and healthier is all linked to changing your mindset and making small lifestyle changes rather than restrictive, intense nutrition programmes and gym routines that only give short-term results.
“I want to give women the opportunity to have some time to focus on themselves and unite with other women to normalise the issues and struggles many of us face daily.
“Unite is a programme that allows any woman, with any goals or with any struggles to come and receive advice, support, and motivation.”
For more information on our Unite programme, please email email@example.com.