Plans to start a Parkrun in Uckfield

Students from Uckfield College are hoping to establish a Parkrun in town, but first they need to find £3,000 to set it up.

The money would buy equipment such as stopwatches, a laptop, hi-vis and protective clothing and posts/signage.

After that the Parkrun would take place every week on a Saturday morning starting at 9am, and following a route across the land of Uckfield Rugby Club and Buxted Park.

Duke of Edinburgh

The idea has come from students working on the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Uckfield College has approached the Uckfield Town Council for a contribution towards costs.

A report to the council, which meets on Monday, says that once set up Parkruns are self-sustaining, in that they are run by volunteers and have all the necessary equipment and paperwork.

The Parkrun is intended to be accessible to the whole community of Uckfield, and, as well as publicising locally, students would encourage GP surgeries to become Parkrun practices, prescribing Parkrun to patients as part of their therapy for physical and mental health.

Spring 2019

The college would like to raise the money by March 2019 at the latest to enable the Parkrun to start in the spring of 2019.

Members of the town council’s environment and leisure committee have previously discussed and considered Parkrun themselves but at the time said it wasn’t an initiative they could run themselves.

They asked Active Uckfield to explore the initiative further.

Not-for-profit

They were told in January 2017 that Parkrun UK is run as an independent not-for-profit organisation supported by commercial and various other supporters operating in more than 200m locations.

To survive financially they also look for local organisations to contribute towards the establishment of events in their area, seeking £3,000 (including VAT), as a start-up fee when establishing an event.

The council was told at the time that this was always a one-off cost and Parkrun UK was committed to supporting every event indefinitely from then on.

Initiative

The report to town councillors meeting on Monday says the town clerk considered the initiative ideal for the 2019/20 community grants programme but as the application process had now passed it was being brought before the full council.

The town clerk is due to attend a meeting at Uckfield College so that she can provide more information to members at the meeting.

They will then be asked whether they wished to provide a financial contribution towards setting up a Parkrun in Uckfield.

See also:

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