Get involved in your community with just one mile

Lynne Brackley in a red coat tossing orange autumn leaves in the air with autumn trees in the background

Getting fit and active contributes to health and wellbeing, so why do some of us find it hard? Like many things in life, breaking it down into manageable steps—and adding a social element for friendship and support—makes physical activity more accessible and fun. This is the philosophy behind the Community Mile set up by the Mason Foundation in 2017, a programme encouraging participants to undertake 15 minutes of activity every day, their way. Do it with others but not in competition – leave nobody behind.

As the foundation states, “we use our ‘Mile’ ethos as a vehicle to make a positive difference to people’s lives, working to bring communities together, encouraging more open conversations and improving overall wellbeing, all by doing ‘Their Mile, Their Way.’”

This inclusive approach resonates with us at the Hornsey Vale Community Association. We see our involvement in two stages: recruit and train Community Mile Champions, and then offer a range of activities that appeal to our neighbours, especially those who may have experienced barriers to taking part.

We’re looking for 3-5 champions who will commit to a short online training course run by one of the Mason Foundation’s Partnership Managers and supported by HVCA.

Once trained, these champions will set up activities open to everyone, with a special emphasis on those who don’t normally do ‘sporty stuff’. Maybe combine walking with a cultural or creative element. Add a playful element, involve nature, learn new words … on the move! We’ve got a gym and some lovely local parks to meet in and one of the strongest communities in north London. Are you up for it?

For general information, you can visit the Mason Foundation’s website.

To find out more about becoming a champion (training is free!) contact trustee Lynne Brackley at


Later-life laughs and exercise

Making mental health accessible for all