Life has changed beyond all recognition for us all since spring this year. Back then, "pandemic", :"lockdown" and "furlough" were words not even in our vocabulary. Working from home was a once a week luxury, teaching our Year 1's phonetics not something we ever imagined having to be responsible for.
Since then, months of juggling home-schooling and full time work, uncertainty and redundancies for many, anxiety for us all. Unsurprisingly it is women's health that has been particularly hard hit with the pandemic creating further physical, financial and time barriers to getting active; Women In Sport recently reported that the gender gap in activity levels had closed significantly before Covid, but after six months of lockdown, had further widened with "only a quarter of women regularly active".
At the start of lockdown in March, This Mum Runs set out a strategy which aimed to empower women to feel connected throughout the time apart - ultimately enabling them to stay active and feel mentally well.
Our award-winning, highly engaged digital communities were at the heart of all our planning - with the lockdown restrictions in place, we were confident that these online spaces could not only provide a safe space where women could share and connect and inspire each other - but a place where we could provide tangible pathways for women to stay active and mentally well.
So, we threw ourselves into ramping up support for our existing communities, with a range of virtual initiatives, encouraging free downloads of the TMR App; and into launching new communities that would enable us to quickly reach more women around the country.
Since then, the TMR team has worked relentlessly hard to provide wide ranging initiatives that in the absence of weekly runs, would nonetheless enable and empower our community to stay active. This has included everything from simple conversation starters within communities to drive engagement, to expert Q&As, virtual relays, online classes, fundraisers, virtual challenges and the promotion of the TMR App.
Want some good news? The hard work has paid off.
A recent survey with our 100,000 strong community aimed to understand how women had been impacted by the pandemic - but also how TMR may have helped them over the past 6 months.
And the results were simply amazing.
68% of our community have told us that they were either as active or MORE active than they were prior to lockdown! 83% of those who were more active felt connected, or deeply connected to the TMR community - and across the board, more than half of all respondents said that conversations in TMR Facebook communities positively affected how active they were.
"The TMR community provides an amazing feeling of togetherness at a time where the focus has been keeping your distance. Connecting with other Mums and the support I felt was so positive - and has enabled me to get my trainers on on days when I didn't feel like it.”
Regardless of activity levels we have had a positive impact on women’s physical and mental health too - across the board, 63% of our community told us we had positively impacted their physical health and 68% their mental health.
A sense of community connection was highest with those who were most active - 83% reported they felt “connected” or “deeply connected” to TMR - with 75% reporting that TMR has positively impacted their physical health, and 79% their mental health.
Of those more active:
- 46% took part in selfie challenges
- 35% joined a virtual challenge
- 26% took part in a TMR At Home class
- 16% helped out with prescription deliveries
- 10% used the TMR App
So it's official, TMR really is good for your health!
As we settle into yet another national lockdown, we will be doubling down on our efforts to support our communities. Socially distanced initiatives and programmes will include:
- TMR Run30 App: free to download throughout lockdown
- Motivating virtual challenges, to do on your own or as part of a virtual team
- "TMR At Home" online classes: join a class with others, or watch again at a time that suits you
- Community challenges, conversations, Q&As and events
With local communities now in Bristol, London, Reading, Plymouth, Horsham, Sheffield, across the Military network (and new communities coming soon) we are also stepping our our support to connect Mums in local communities across the country.
Whatever life throws at us over the coming weeks and months, know this: TMR is here to continue to make a difference to women's health and happiness.
So our ask: GET INVOLVED! Join your local community, or get in touch about starting one. Download the App and share it with a mate. Sign up for a virtual challenge. Take part in a selfie challenge. Tell your friends! Shout from the roof tops about just how incredibly life-changing this community really is; women empowering women is a magical thing indeed.