A running club set up solely for women has seen membership flourish while it has been shortlisted for an award.
These Girls Can Run was set up by Kim Scott, from Cramlington, after she took up running to help her lose weight.
But after initially feeling self conscious about running, she decided to set up the group to make running accessible for all ladies.
And since being set up in February, the group has grown – with additional groups set up in Whitley Bay, Gosforth, Killingworth, Morpeth, Wallsend, Darlington and Bristol.
Now Kim has been shortlisted for an England Athletic’s award for Run Group Leader while was awarded a Run England Group/Leader of the Year for the north east region this month.
She has also been chosen as one of 20 Northumberland entrepreneurs to take part in the Be Digital Springboard programme.
Kim said: “I began the group inspired by Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can Campaign’.
“In my early twenties I’d been overweight and extremely unfit and the thought of a gym terrified me. I’d always hated running at school but I wanted to give it another go.
“I was so self conscious and worried about being laughed at I used to wait until it was dark to pop my trainers on and head out.
“I set up the group as I wanted to make running accessible to all ladies, especially those who maybe felt like I had and who lacked the confidence to get out their on their own through fear of judgement.
“Our sessions are for everyone and as our group leaders stay at the back no one gets left behind and everyone enjoys the session at their own pace.
“There are lots of ladies who started off walk/jogging lamp post to lamp post who are now regularly running three miles and more.
“Across all of the groups we have close to 1,000 members on Facebook and we’re growing daily.”
For more information visit www.thesegirlscanrun.weebly.com or www.facebook.com/groups/thesegirlscanrun/