Mum's fitness plan for her son blossoms into 30 strong running club to get Burnley people fighting fit

Jennifer with her husband, Chris and sons Cameron (front) and Jack.
Jennifer with her husband, Chris and sons Cameron (front) and Jack.

A mum's bright idea, to help her son raise his fitness levels before he applied to join the army, has blossomed into an unofficial running club to help get the people of Burnley fit and active.

And for the second time in 13 months members of the Towneley Run Club are preparing to take part in a challenge to raise money for Pendleside Hospice.

All ready for the off at Towneley Run Club are (from left to right) Sandra Scott, Jennifer James, Gemma Aspin, Kelly Barlow and Chris Clewes.

All ready for the off at Towneley Run Club are (from left to right) Sandra Scott, Jennifer James, Gemma Aspin, Kelly Barlow and Chris Clewes.

Around eight runners and walkers are limbering up for the 51 mile Pendle to Kendal walk on Friday and also the Burnley 10k in July which they took part in last year and raised £210.

Members are also in talks to take part in a half marathon in October with the aim of raising £500 for Pendleside Hospice.

And they are already £300 towards their target.

There are 30 regular members in the run club who meet at 6-30pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

And it is all thanks to Jennifer James, the driving force and motivator behind the group, which blossomed after she started doing regular runs around Towneley Park in Burnley with her son, Jack Jenkinson, to prepare him for his application to join the army.

Jennifer (34) who also has a daughter, Teagan said: "People started asking which club we were running with and I had to tell them we weren't an official club but they were welcome to join us."

Several took up the invitation and Jennifer now leads a twice weekly band of runners, and walkers, who can be spotted clocking up to 5k and more at their own pace around Towneley Park.

Jennifer, who manages Chilleco UK Ltd and her own business with partner Chris Clewes Boss Catering Equipment, said: "The runners are of all ages, with our youngest who is eight to the most senior runner who is 66. Chris Clewes MD is also taking part in the walk

"The aim is for people to come along and run or walk at their own pace. It is about getting out and being active and improving your health."

Member Sandra Scott (54) was introduced to Jennifer through her son, Mitchell who works at Chilleco.

Sandra said: "He said I would really like Jennifer and it was a chance to get back into running which was something I had wanted to do.

"Not only have I re-kindled my love for running but I have gained new friends too so here is to the many challenges ahead."

Jen invited Lynn Webster (60) to join the group after she was struggling to recover after a stroke. Since she joined Lynn said she had made many new friends she found 'very supportive.'

She said: " They give plenty of encouragement and it’s a family atmosphere.

"Anyone can join no matter what your fitness level is."

Jack, who is 17, has now launched his army career and Jennifer has enlisted her younger son, Cameron (15) and husband Chris (39) to take part in the Pendle to Kendal Walk on Friday.

Cameron has even been given special dispensation to have the day off from his studies at Burnley High School.

If you would like to sponsor the runners please go to https://www.gofundme.com/pendle-to-kendal