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Oct 26, 2021

Vitality launches series of films to encourage more people to live heathier lifestyles

Vitality, the health, life and car insurance and investment company, is unveiling a series of short films that share first-hand experiences of people who have overhauled their lifestyle using sport and exercise as the catalyst. 
Featuring real life accounts, the short videos aim to inspire people to get more active as part of Vitality’s core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. The films also showcase in a relatable way the positive impact rewards and incentives can have in encouraging people to change their behaviour and approach to health and wellbeing.
Today’s film, which is one of three, tells the inspirational story of Bristol-based entrepreneur and mum of two Mel Bound, who went from wondering if she’d walk again to creating This Mum Runs, a community of more than 150,000 mother-runners. As a sports science graduate and lifelong runner Mel had always been physically active. Yet having suffered a serious back injury in 2010, and with two young children, Mel struggled to stay active and fell into a period of depression, which had a significant impact on her home life and relationships.
In 2014 Mel’s life changed forever when she posted on a Facebook group looking for a run partner in her local area. 75 women turned up to run with Mel that night and This Mum Runs was born. Six years on and tens of thousands of free weekly runs later, This Mum Runs now boasts more than 150,000 active members from across the UK and enables mums of all ages from a range of backgrounds and fitness abilities to stay active.
Vitality has been the Official Wellness Partner of This Mums Runs since October 2020, which has enabled them to invest in supporting the community through a range of initiatives - including Vitality hosted expert events - that have added huge value to the community and positively impacted their health and wellbeing. Vitality also sponsors the community’s Run Angels, who are the network of dedicated volunteer runners engaging local communities and hosting the group’s sessions.
Commenting on the film, Mel said: “Finding myself completely inactive for several years was really tough, but I was motivated to make a change both for my own mental health and because of the impact it was having on my family. Experiencing first-hand the practical and emotional barriers to getting back into exercise has enabled me to build a thriving and supportive community underpinned by a pressure free ethos, where all women feel empowered to enjoy the life changing benefits of being active. Taking the first step may feel hard, but I hope by sharing my story it inspires others to join us at This Mum Runs.”
Vitality is a long-time supporter of community programmes, with partners across many sports from grassroots to professional level. Working in collaboration with these partners, Vitality aims to increase physical activity at a local level. Each of the films features a partner of Vitality - parkrun, This Mum Runs and England Netball - and is part of the insurer’s Stories Behind Change campaign they launched earlier this year to highlight how their members have positively changed their lives in some way, improving their health and wellbeing.
Nick Read, Managing Director for Vitality said: “These inspirational stories are just a few of the many first-hand accounts we hear that show us the positive impact sport and being more active can have on people’s lives.
“Often, taking the first step to being more active or living a heathier life can be the most challenging and we hope that by bringing to life these stories and working with our partners, we can help break down those barriers and help people see how making small and incremental changes to your lifestyle can make a massive difference.”
The first film in the series, released earlier this month, profiled the emotional story of Leeds father-of-two Curtis Ledger, whose motivation to see his children grow up led to a love-affair with parkrun that has inspired a community.
Curtis, who is now a regular runner and volunteer at the Woodhouse Moor parkrun in Leeds, said: “I’ve always been overweight, and I could see there’s going to be a tipping point. I discovered parkrun via the Vitality Insurance scheme. The single biggest motivator for me was my children, wanting to set an example for them, but also making sure I was around for long enough to watch the grow up. You hear “parkrun saved my life”. It’s a bit of a cliche, but I’m scared to think if I’d not gone down the route of doing parkrun then, where would I be, health wise?”
The final instalment, which will be released mid-November, will feature 19-year-old netballer Halee Robinson, who reflects on her personal growth since becoming a qualified netball coach through Vitality’s #WeAreRising campaign, launched during the Vitality Netball World Cup in 2019.
To learn more Stories Behind Change from Vitality members and employees please visit https://www.vitality.co.uk/stories-behind-positive-change/ or Vitality’s social media channels.
To watch Mel’s film, visit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiHW2EFii_4
To watch Curtis’ film, visit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrUfHafBvg4

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