Mum, voiceover artist and BBC Radio Bristol presenter, Faye Dicker, meets the Bristol businesses that make family life easier…

Simple business ideas are often the best. In this case, it was a chance post on Facebook that became the starting point for Mel Bound’s venture – This Mum Runs.

As a runner for most of her life, she found herself frustrated at her lack of running once she’d had children. It’s something I can all too easily relate to. So, seizing the day, she decided to post on Facebook to see if there was any one who fancied joining her for a run that night. After all, running with a buddy makes it all the more interesting, and you a little more accountable.

What happened next was amazing. Over 70 people – all mums – said that ‘yes’ they would like to join her for a run! As Mel puts it, she couldn’t quite take to the streets with 70 women by her side, but wondered if she was on to something. And so This Mum Runs was born.

This Mum Runs really is that simple. A running club geared up for mums – with starting times that allow them to put little ones to bed and don’t invade on family weekends. There are groups popping up all over Bristol, though the core two are in Greville Smyth Park and The Downs. Both groups meet on a Wednesday and Sunday at 7.30pm and 8am, so there is a sense of continuity.

I recently met up with Mel and she brims with enthusiasm. Her passion is infectious and has clearly spurred the group on. In fact, the growth has been incredible in such a short time and she is clearly a woman with ambition – her mission is to see 1000 mums running across Bristol. Not only that, with backing from Run England, she’s making it happen. Together they have teamed up to produce a realistic ‘from couch to 5k’ programme and have received funding to train more leaders across the city, to help deliver them.

There’s something about running in a group that is incredibly motivating. After all, it’s much easier to skip a run when you’re going on your own. Running with fellow mums, who have also just had the ‘bath time, bedtime wrestle’, gives you all the same level of understanding. Plus, there’s the practical side of things – like being able to talk about pelvic floor muscles and getting a decent fitting sports bra – knowing you’re all in it together. But it’s not all about getting people started – there’re many runners (like me) for whom it’s more a case of dusting off your old trainers and getting back into the swing of things. In which case, there’s both beginner and intermediate groups, and conditioning classes for those who are looking for more.

Plus with a thriving community on Facebook, it’s easy to post if you’re looking for a buddy to join you on an ad hoc run. Above all, it’s a supportive, safe and fun community of fellow mums – who all understand each other and help spur each other on. With branded running kit and groups of TMR running the Bristol 10k, their pink t-shirts and logo will soon be a familiar site across the city. Mel is a woman with a passion who is, both literally and figuratively speaking, going the extra mile. She’s about to enter a business incubator programme and has plans to take This Mum Runs to the next level. Who’d have thought one simple Facebook post, could lead to such an exciting new venture?

For more info, search for This Mum Runs on Facebook www.freelancemum.co.uk