Updated: Apr 3
Having formalised Peak Running as a ‘not for profit’ Community Interest Company last year, we’ve been gradually putting building blocks in place to make sure that we truly deliver on our obligation to operate in the interest of the community we’re here to support.
One of these building blocks was to appoint Independent Directors to oversee the running of the company and help ensure members of the community have a say in what we do.
We are therefore delighted to introduce you to our newly appointed Independent Directors, Maddy Stretton, James Illsley and Angela White.
These voluntary roles will sit on the Board of Directors alongside the existing Directors, Andy Brooks and Chris Hopkinson. And they will have responsibility for overseeing the operation of the business, in a similar way to the Trustees of a Charity.
All three of our new Directors come from within our running/jogging community so, as well as bringing other professional skills and experience to the table, are ideally placed to understand the needs of the community.
After a few failed attempts at ‘running’ Maddy was encouraged to start a couch to 5km programme with a local running group. It still took a couple of goes before completing the whole programme but it was clear to Maddy that support and encouragement were key to her accomplishments. After completing the Great North Run in 2016 Maddy decided to give up pounding the pavements and instead take her running to the trails. Something which inspired her to tackle, with the support of Andy Brooks and the Peak Running Community.
Having been on her own journey, with many missteps and questionable navigational choices Maddy found that it was about more than just learning to run. Peak Running gave her the opportunity to learn (much needed) navigation skills, gain and play an active role in supporting others on their journeys. She has become an avid supporter of the organisation and has taken part in races, both as a runner and marshal, navigation skills sessions and volunteer days in The Peak District. Maddy joins the Board with the desire to help and inspire people achieve things they didn’t believe they were capable of themselves.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the Board. Peak Running CIC is an organisation that lives its values and does things the right way even if that’s not always the easy way. I’m looking forward to playing an active role in supporting the organisation go from strength to strength as it continues to offer adventures and support people to achieve things they never thought were possible.”
James brings extensive experience of Jog Derbyshire groups to Peak Running, having started his own running journey with Jog Crich. From there, he ran with other clubs and, in October 2019, founded Rogue Runners Ripley (RRR) with a group of friends. He has a passion for helping new runners and those who consider themselves 'slower' and created RRR’s Sofa to 3k programme, aimed at those who were new or returning to fitness and who couldn’t or didn’t want to run a full 5k. Rogue Runners now proudly boasts having a walking group and, unusually, a ‘knit and natter’ group and have taken part in a number of community events around the Ripley area.
James says “I am delighted to have been asked to join the Peak Running Board at a very exciting time. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of both Peak Running and Jog Derbyshire in the future.”
Angela White, a retired surgeon, passionately promotes ‘action for healthy ageing’. She started running in 2012 as part of a series of ‘small steps’ to improve her own physical and mental health and is known as ‘The Running Granny’. She enjoys road, trail and mountain running and taking on a variety of challenges. She believes we can all set goals and work steadily towards achieving them. When Angela first tried running it took a painstaking month to be able to run a mile. In 2019, aged 60, she set a Guinness World Record as the oldest female to run 875 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
“My life is so much richer from being involved in the running community. Physical activity is one part of the jigsaw that contributes to a healthy lifestyle, the others being what we eat, drink, our sleep, stress and social contact. Running helps me with each of these. Peak Running has nurtured a very special community and I’m excited to be part of it as it moves into a new chapter in its history. I hope to contribute my professional and personal experiences to benefit the community it supports”.