In The Pink Support Scheme

We have a passion for help people feel “In the Pink” i.e. in the best possible health. But we recognise not everyone can walk through the doors of a running club and reap the benefits for themselves. We therefore have a range of different systems to offer a helping hand.

Aim of the scheme

In the Pink is a scheme in Hull & East Yorkshire that supports men and women to use exercise as an aid to improve their positive wellbeing, and to help to manage the often debilitating symptoms caused by social, physical or emotional health problems. Although exercise is recognised as being helpful in improving mental and physical wellbeing, it can be hard to be motivated to start or return to exercise when struggling with the negative effects of many issues. This scheme offers 1-1 support to help men and women take those first steps, by linking to a Fitmums & Friends In the Pink Volunteer Supporter, who will help you get started.

Who is it for?

We would love to support anyone who feels they need a little helping hand to get through the door of a Fitmums & Friends activity session – the following list is by no means exhaustive and you don’t need to fit in any of these categories, if you think some 1-1 support may help you please get in touch.

If you don’t feel you need this level of support but you do need a little helping hand then we can also arrange a chat by phone/text/email/facebook prior to a session or even arrange for you to be met in the car park at a venue so you don’t have to walk in alone.

We can help people who are:

  • bereaved & struggling
  • carers & need time out
  • feeling lonely
  • trying to make lifestyle changes like losing weight or stopping smoking
  • having relationship difficulties
  • unemployed or facing redundancy
  • recovering from cancer or other illnesses
  • experiencing baby blues/post natal depression
  • facing major life changing experiences
  • feeling low in confidence/self-esteem

About our Volunteer Supporters

These are men & women who have undertaken specific training for the role. This includes training in emotional wellbeing, communication skills and safeguarding/vulnerable adults training. All Volunteer Supporters have a DBS disclosure and are supported by a clinical psychologist in their role. They work as volunteers with paid expenses.

They are all members of Fitmums & Friends and understand the strong principles and ethos of support which is embedded within all groups. They are passionate and enthusiastic about offering support to those who require it. Volunteer supporters are not counsellors or therapists; they aim to motivate and support individuals to be more active.

How does it work?

  1. Get in touch - People can refer themselves or ask anyone else to refer them (this might be a health professional like a doctor, nurse, midwife, health visitor or a friend/family member). Once we receive details we make telephone contact with the individual to make sure the scheme is right for them, that they feel ready for support and if so we then match them up to the right Volunteer Supporter.
  2. Telephone contact to start with - A Fitmums & Friends Volunteer Supporter will make telephone contact, to introduce themselves and arrange a non-exercise meet up in a café, children’s centre or other convenient venue.
  3. Non exercise meet up in a café (or other venue) - At this first meeting the Volunteer Supporter will explain how the scheme works; what activity options are available, and how you can be supported. If you feel ready you can plan which session you would like to try.
  4. Supported exercise sessions – There are a number of different Fitmums & Friends sessions to choose from, these include running, fitness walking and buggy sessions. Volunteer Supporters join individual’s referred to the scheme at three mutually convenient sessions of their own choice. Walk & run sessions use a shepherding system; people can run or walk at their own pace without fear of being left behind, or being under pressure to go faster than they are able.
  5. Looking to the future – After the 3 supported sessions individuals are welcome to join Fitmums & Friends as a member and continue their journey to being “In the Pink”. All sessions are supportive and friendly. Fitmums & Friends groups are passionate about supporting everyone regardless of ability. Child care is available at some sessions.

Activities on offer:

Fitness Walks

Some Fitmums & Friends groups offer a Fitness Walk. Leaders are all trained volunteers. The Fitness walk is a “power walk” rather than a leisurely stroll – it offers a good cardiovascular walking workout, but Fitmums & Friends systems of support mean that all sessions are suitable for all abilities, with leaders able to ensure that faster walkers are appropriately challenged and at the same time ensure the slower paced walker gets sufficient support. The Fitness Walk is excellent for beginners to exercise, pregnant/post natal ladies, injured runners or those that just prefer walking to running.

Buggy Fitness

Buggy Sessions are walking workouts for people with young babies or toddlers happy to stay in the buggy for the duration of the walk although you do not need a buggy/child to take part in buggy sessions. You are welcome to attend these without a buggy/child and enjoy a walking workout. Normally a buggy session involves a 2 or 3 mile walk but Fitmums & Friends systems of support mean that all sessions are suitable for all abilities. Sessions include a warm-up, the main walking workout and stretching afterwards. Some buggy sessions include an element of toning and resistance exercises also.


The Fitmums & Friends run sessions offer a variety of distances to suit all abilities ranging from 1 mile up to 6 miles. You simply choose which distance you want to try. If you are a beginner then the 1 mile group will help get you on your way. Trained Run Leaders facilitate the various distance groups and will ensure you are supported. These sessions include a warm up and stretching afterwards.

High-profile support

The work of the Fitmums & Friends team has also attracted some high-profile supporters, including marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and model and amateur athlete Nell McAndrew.

Nell has supported the scheme and said:

Sam Barlow and her team of volunteers are incredible. To provide so much motivation and support for so many people is just brilliant. Running and exercise is a great way for people of all ages, men or women, to improve confidence, de-stress, make you feel happier and more positive. Fitmums & Friends is a very special group, changing people's lives for the better.