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Having heard about woMEn TIME activities through a friend, I had a look on their website and got in contact with them. I found the Co-ordinator very helpful and she emailed me links to various activities that woMEn TIME were involved in. As one of the things that I had written on my bucket list was to try a triathlon, (I am 59 and wanted to get around to it sooner rather than later) I researched various events and found that there was a local Try-a-Tri event. I filled in my form and pressed the send button. Eeeeek! I’d finally gone and entered. No turning back now. Onwards and upwards. My first step was to go along to the Couch to 5km group that I’d seen in the recommended woMEn TIME links. I had dipped in and out of jogging over the years but had got to a point where I’d lost my mojo and was finding it difficult to motivate myself. From the word go, our group leader Karen was welcoming, encouraging and supportive. Explaining about the route, warm ups and cool downs and answering any questions that I put to her. The other members of the group were friendly and like myself wanting to get fitter and to take part in their individual challenges. Each week saw our small group become much fitter, even managing to chat AND run at the same time. We felt ecstatic when we were able to run the whole 5km route and a couple of us have gone on to take part in the weekly Chelmsford Park Run.

Setting myself new challenges and gradually achieving them really helped to boost my confidence and finally I felt ready to give the triathlon a go. A 300m swim, a 21km cycle ride and a 4km run. I knew that I could complete them individually but needed to link them all together. Would the legs like the running motion after the cycle section? Would I be all fingers and thumbs as I went to pull on my trainers with wet feet from swimming? What if my cycles tyre punctured? Endless questions went round in my head. The only way was to try it out. Gradually I linked two disciplines together, swimming and running, swimming and cycling, cycling and running and finally I put all three together. Park Run and the woMEn TIME group proved invaluable for this as I would go for a swim, jump on the cycle and then arrive at the start of the run and be helped along by the other runners.

SheliaCouch to 5km attendee

Really enjoyed the class today, it really clears my head at lunch time – Thank you!

AnnastasiaPilates attendee

Many thanks for the class today, as always excellent I will certainly be keeping it up next year!

I would definitely be keeping things up over Christmas and new year.

JuliaPilates attendee

I think that the scheme is a fantastic opportunity not only in terms of improving health and well being but also an opportunity to work on confidence in cycling with group support of women with similar anxieties. The Volunteers were lovely providing security and support. The route was gentle and the group are encouraged to remain together so no one felt inadequate. All this for free!!
highly recommended and I’m looking forward to next Saturday

I am happy to travel to Chelmsford for this experience. Only wish my council had such schemes but well done Chelmsford City Council

MonikaLed Cycle Ride

I’ve been going to Killa Hurtz roller derby freshmeat for nearly a year now, when I went to my first session I wasn’t looking for a new hobby or exercise class, and I hadn’t even heard of roller derby. But when I heard about it I was intrigued to find out more and I’m so glad I gave it a try. Even on the weeks when I’m just so tired after work that all I want to do is veg out on the sofa, I get myself to the session and end up really enjoying it and forgetting how tired I felt before. I may not be the best skater but I’m learning every week and I love the skating. We all start off mastering basic skills and each time we get something on the list ticked off, it feels like a real achievement. There is no pressure and everyone passes different things at their own pace. I remember feeling nervous the first time we tried working as a pack, and once we’d had a go I couldn’t’ believe how much I enjoyed it. I’d recommend anyone and everyone to give it a go, you never know you might like it as much as me and the rest of the freshmeat group. (PS don’t let the ‘freshmeat’ name put you off!).

TraceyRoller Derby Newbie

Off-Road Cycling with Radical Bikes has given me a new lease of life. Enabling me to keep up my fitness levels. Also the opportunities of meeting new people and experiencing a sport in the open air in the fantastic countryside and company!

JeanOff-Road Cycling

I really enjoyed these cycle rides. I am not confident on a bicycle usually, but by attending this activity I really got to grips with cycling. I learnt tips on how to cross difficult terrain. I used to fall off at the beginning and by the end of the session I stayed on all the way. I was able to negotiate ditches and gateways with no problem. Everyone was friendly and had fun. I loved that all ages where catered for. I will be getting my own bike now as I want to continue cycling.

JackieOff-Road Cycling


“Cycling in a group has made me feel safer on the road amongst traffic. Wearing proper clothing – a reflective, hi-visibility commuter jacket and a helmet can improve one’s command of cycling on the road. By cycling a metre away from the curb, positioning correctly at junctions (A, B, or C), checking for traffic behind by turning the right shoulder, hand/arm signalling for turning left or right can all add to a cyclist’s right of way on the road! This course really helped me get to grips with all these things and more”

GayatriLearn to Ride and Cycle Confidence

“With the help of the instructors, we went out on the roads and got a better understanding of the ‘rules of the road’ while cycling. In particular, their gentle yet specific guidance was quite helpful in gaining confidence to be on the road.”

“I found the sessions very enjoyable and will definitely enrol again if there should be any more available in the Spring. It helped my confidence, knowledge of cycles and gears, improved fitness, some degree of traffic sense. Thanks again for your help. I was amazed at how quickly I could pick up confidence to ride in such a short, but effective training course.”

MarilynLearn to Ride and Cycle Confidence

“I could not cycle at all before, and now I can. This is great. All the volunteers were great, and I had some really great and patient teachers.”

TendaiLearn to Ride and Cycle Confidence

I only attended one Saturday morning session but refreshed on cycling skills not used for a while. Also I learnt how to do a hill start on a bike. I really enjoyed the experience and got a lot out of it.

SueLearn to Ride and Cycle Confidence

I joined the cycle group and I really enjoyed it and the leaders were excellent. I would through recommend to anyone who wants to learn to ride a bike and never had the opportunity.


I love cycling on a Tuesday, this is such a worthy project. Long may it continue!


I went this Tuesday and had a fab time- the instructors were so nice and even though I started off really cautious and not confident, they were great and even persuaded me to cycle back to the bike shed – it felt great!

SmitaLearn to Ride

I took part in the first Self Defence course through Women Time. I had been looking for courses for a while but wanted something that suited me rather than a high intensity martial arts style course.

I got a lot more from the Women Time course than I expected. Learning about the theory behind self-defence and the laws and regulations about what is acceptable was really enlightening and probably gave me more to think about than most practical classes. Brainstorming about everyday ways to protect yourself and ensure that you stay out of harm’s way are now principals that I have taken on board and can easily remember to do in my day to day life.

The practical element of the course was also fantastic; often I worry that self-defence classes focus too much on an individual’s physical strength, whereas Derek, our instructor, used skills that we learn from birth which can make more impact than I ever realised. This has given me far more confidence in the ability to protect myself, it’s not about being able to fight, it’s being aware, taking precautions to stay safe and learning basic tactics to distract and remove yourself from a situation. All of this combined, plus having Derek as our teacher who made the course interesting, accessible and enjoyable, meant the course was a great experience for everyone involved and a definite recommendation to all my friends!

LilyGive it a go - Self Defence

Just wanted to say thanks for the Park GYM session that woMEn TIME organised over the summer holidays. I Not only was nice to mix up the exercise routine! I certainly really enjoyed it! It great to know what is on your doorstep and all for FREE. Plus the instructors really spurred me on I certainly pushed harder than I would on my own!

Good work!

park GYM

KarenPark GYM

These ladies have been walking with our groups for the past year and they have got faster and further as the weeks have gone on. Last year many walked the Race for Life 10km at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and this was a real challenge as not many had ever done a charity event before. They enjoyed it so much that this year the ladies attempted the Farleigh Hospice – Walk for life (24km). Well, They Did It! The ladies walked from Heybridge Basin all the way to Chelmsford in 5hrs 22 mins. All of the ladies were exhausted, but elated in completing this extra distance that 1 year ago they couldn;t have imagined doing.

Rosie and Amanda (walk leaders) said 2 We are super proud of all the ladies (10 in total) that walked with us today. All have come so far in their journey’s and really pushed themselves, but enjoyed the experience of achieving something they never thought they could do Well Done girls!

Overall the team raised £400 to go towards Farleigh Hospice and the money is still rolling in!

farleigh Hospice - walk for life

If you haven’t yet sponsored us please go to www.justgiving.com/womentimewalkforlife


Farleigh Hospice - Walk for Life 2016Gym Membership

These are out couch to 5km ladies from our group at Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre. They all entered into the Great Baddow Fun Run. One of the ladies wanted to be able to run it in memory of her relative who she used to watch the race with from the window. The relative used to say you could do that, Jane thought she was mad. Well ….she’s done it now.

In the picture there is Alison, Julie (who is injured, but was there with Jaffa Cakes to spur the ladies on) Jane and Jacqueline and Karen (the instructor). None of these ladies had done a race before and were all really nervous.

Karen said “It was a great atmosphere and Jane and her husband had organised a wonderful BBQ in that lovely garden for afterwards. I am so lucky to know these ladies and they have gelled big time. They have done runs together and the circuit class at Dovedales. I’m so proud of all of them and what they have achieved so far”

Well done Ladies !

ladies great baddow fun run

Great Baddow Fun RunGym Membership

I joined the calm class to get a bit of time for myself and try and reduce stress in busy life. I enjoy the mixture of relaxation, mindfulness activities and gentle stretching and balancing exercises. The class is very inclusive and has a very nice atmosphere, I always feel more at peaceful afterwards and find myself smiling on the way home!

KathrineCalm Class

I really enjoyed the class as I was looking for something like this to help with my depression and anxiety, and seeing your advert for the class was a godsend. As women, we all put ourselves last and being able to go to an affordable class to simply relax outside the home is fantastic. I find it hard to unwind and relax, so your class is what I was looking for.

SushmaCalm Class

Just to say how much I enjoyed the Calm Class,last Friday. I thoroughly feel it is an extremely worthwhile class.Ladies of all ages,abilities would benefit greatly.Time to relax,but at the same time with other ladies too. Ladies need me time, due to our very stressful lives.

AlisonCalm Class

Amanda’s calm class was just what I needed. After recently having a huge op following thyroid cancer taking time out for myself to help me mentally was important for me.

We did various activities including sensory techniques through touch,
taste and smell and breathing exercises all of which can be practiced at home.

The class was accommodating for people of all levels of ability and of all ages and I felt very welcome

Thank you Amanda for your support and I know that you will continue to help many others too

ClaireCalm Class

Amanda’s Calm Class is a gentle and welcoming class. And it’s more relaxing due to the wide range of ages and abilities. I particularly enjoyed learning about the sensory calming techniques that Amanda introduced. Highly recommended.

KarenCalm Class

I work in a sedentary job where I can be sat at a computer for hours at a time and it is really hard to make myself take breaks. I joined the small training group as I thought it would help me get back into exercise – because I was sat down all day and then felt tired in the evening, my health was suffering and I had several medical issues that the doctor was suggesting medication for (high blood pressure, water retention). Before taking medication I decided I would take control of my weight issues and lack of exercise.

The course ran over 6 weeks and I was with a lovely small group of 3 with Rosie as the trainer. The programme was great as it showed lots of different exercises and ways of stretching and adding cardio. Rosie was full of excellent advice and, once the programme was over, she monitored me for the next 3 months. Stupidly I discontinued using the gym, but I soon felt the same health problems creeping back. I immediately rejoined and am now attending the gym at least 3 times a week. It has now just become part of my routine. The small group training gave me the confidence to sign up to the gym long term.

FionaSmall Group Training

I heard about the woMEn TIME project through my school when I saw a leaflet in reception. I used to swim when I was younger, but having a teaching job and a family I didn’t have a lot of time to do the things I used to do. I had lost weight, but I think that was more through stress than anything else. I was still heavier than id like to be and feeling so lethargic. I knew I needed to make a change.

I started out with a taster session in the gym and really enjoyed it. The woMEn TIME team gave me a booklet to monitor my progress and I vowed to go to the gym twice a week. I set myself short, medium and long term goals that were specific and measureable. This was the only way that I could promise myself that I was going to make a permanent change.

My short term goals where to have more energy, lose some weight and de-stress. I achieved them all and treated myself to a new pair of jeans. I went to as many different classes as possible and have totally fallen in love with body pump I never thought I would enjoy lifting weights, but you have to try these things.

I have now been going to the gym for 3 months and have lost an inch round my waist and nearly 1 stone and feel so much better. I am now looking forward to achieving my long-term goals of running a half marathon in the next 12 months. My friends, family and work colleague have all noticed a major change not only in the way I look, but my personality. I really lost myself for a while, but feel like the real me is back a small change can do wonderful things and I would encourage anyone just to get a little more active you really do feel the benefits!

HelenGym Membership

I first started with woMEn TIME when I joined the Couch to 5km group at Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre. For the first few weeks I struggled to get into my stride, but as the weeks progressed I got further and further with my running. Through joining the group I have completed the Santa Fun Run 5km, Race for life 10km and am currently training for the Shine Night Walk where I will be completing a marathon overnight. This also given me the confidence to try new gym exercises and fitness classes at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre and Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre.

Women Time has helped me to believe in myself and realise that I can do more than I thought I could do, I have enjoyed the gym challenges and really surprised myself by winning the cycling challenge. By getting active I have lost 2 stone and feel much healthier. I have 2 jobs and am a full time mum, but am still able to fit some me time around a busy schedule with activities being at flexible times and days. My daughter has become more interested in getting active because she has seen what it has done for me. We have even been running and to the gym together. With the help of Women Time and the leisure centre staff I have been able to build up the confidence and know the importance of keeping fit. This is a journey that I am pleased that I started and know this is part of lifestyle I now really enjoy.

AnnaMy Women Time Experience

Eighteen months ago I was given a beautiful, mint green bicycle for my 26th birthday. I adored it and wanted so much to get out and start pedalling straight away. The trouble was I felt like so much was stopping me. I’ve never been a ‘gym bunny’ and was completely out of shape, heavier than I’d have liked and unsure how to keep myself safe on the roads. I was looking for a way to build my fitness and confidence but found the idea of walking in to the gym terrifying. That’s when my best friend mentioned a Learn To Ride course run by woMEn TIME. “It’s all free!” she said. “What have you got to lose?”

The sign up process was easy and soon it was the first day of the course. I arrived with my brand new bicycle and a mind full of worries and questions but within minutes the warm, friendly welcome had settled my nerves. We spent a while just chatting and laughing while pedalling gently along and everything felt very comfortable. Small challenges were gradually introduced and before I knew it I was whizzing around the track, checking over my shoulder and even letting go of the handlebars. That day was an important one for me. It showed me that the only thing stopping me was that mind full of worries and doubts and I was determined to find a way to become stronger than the belief that I ‘just couldn’t do it’. Soon I was looking in to other woMEn TIME activities close by to keep me inspired!  Including Small Group Training (weight loss) & Women’s walks in South Woodham Ferrers and lane swimming at Riverside.

A year later, I have just returned from a week’s holiday in Paris where I cycled around some of the busiest streets in the world with confidence and managed to walk 48 miles in the week without even realising it! I have lost over 2 stone in weight and feel so much better and confident. I can honestly say that woMEn TIME and the Chelmsford City Council Leisure Centres have been a huge part of me learning how to change my life for the better. There is always an atmosphere of gentle encouragement, celebration and, most of all, fun! The leaders of the activities and fellow members of the group have taught me so much and not just about a specific sport but about how powerful our attitude can be, the foods to eat (and avoid!) to properly fuel and nourish my body and how to build active time in to my day so that it becomes a natural part of life. I am only just beginning my journey towards life-long fitness and good health and can’t wait to see where it takes me. I feel confident knowing that I’ll always find continued support and inspiration at my weekly walks or any other woMEn TIME activities I decide to try in the future and I can’t imagine a more wonderful group of people to be walking this path with me!

RachaelMy Women Time Experience

I first entered into the world of triathlon training 6 months ago when me and my colleague Rosie said we would both like t try a new challenge. We had heard about the ‘Try a Tri’ in Ongar and both being new to the game this appealed to us both as a good place to start. I am 46 and have never done anything like this before and since I have had bought myself a bike to travel to and from work I truly felt alive when I am riding.

We both signed up for the challenge together and support of another lady really helped to boost my confidence and motivation to do it and complete it.

I started by cycling to work and even taking some longer routes on my way to and from work incorporating hills to challenge and improve my fitness.

I like to run, but since having a knee injury around a year ago I hadn’t run very much at all. So, I started to power walk when I could. Incorporating it into my day whether going up a flight or stairs or walking the dogs in the morning I upped my pace until I was lightly jogging. Slowly, but surly I got myself back to running even if this was at a slow pace. It didn’t matter to me as I was doing it for myself not anyone else.

The swimming was my most feared part of the whole process I could swim, but hadn’t swum in years and got bad anxiety when entering into water. I slowly built up the confidence from walking in water to swimming with floating aids and full stroke using both front crawl and breast stroke. When I completed my swim for the first time there was a sudden confidence I hadn’t felt for a long time and finally started to relax and enjoy the whole experience.

Race day came around so quickly and when looking at everyone else I felt rather out of place. Everyone looked so professional with their road bikes and triathlon suits on, but I reminded myself why I was doing this. It wasn’t for anyone else apart from myself and I was happy to take my time and to finish which is exactly what I did.

I complete 300m swim, 21km bike ride and 3km run I felt so alive and was buzzing all the way round with the support of family and friends I did the whole race in a time of 1hr 36minutes and didn’t come last. I was so happy!

I came home and a week later I was booked onto a slightly longer race and completely my second triathlon in a similar time.

I really feel like if you put your mind to something big or small you can achieve! and if I was to give any advice to other ladies thinking about taking on a challenge always think of the reason why you are doing something. Never think you cannot do or achieve anything. Taking the first step is the hardest, but it only takes one step to start!

AmandaTraining for a Novice Triathlon
Mrs Lucus

This session was really good and has kicked started me exercising again which was very much needed! Many Thanks for all your help.

Mrs LucusFREE Gym Trial
Miss Edwards

Absolutely excellent session and really loved it and I will defiantly be attending again!

Miss EdwardsFREE Fitness class pass
Mrs Young

The gym instructor so lovely, extremely personable and was pitched to the right level for me and my friend as we where both beginners and new to the gym environment. I really enjoyed the session and would defiantly be attending again as we had so much fun.

Mrs YoungFREE gym trial
Mrs Mcdonald

Excellent session really inspired me to take up exercise again!

Mrs McdonaldFREE fitness class pass
Mrs Beer

I loved it! I am going as often as I can as work does get in the way, but really motivated me again to start getting active and the importance of a work life balance. I always feel so much better after I have been to the gym. The instructor was lovely and so encouraging.

Mrs BeerFREE gym trial
Mrs Marston

I was really impressed it made me so motivated and since I have been I have got a personal trainer and have been going to the gym regularly. It really gave me the push I needed.

Mrs MarstonFREE gym trial

In March 2015 I decided I wanted to start keeping fit so I went to Rosie from Women Time to get her advice on how to go about it & what would suit me most exercise wise.

Rosie explained that she could get me a free class through Women Time. We discussed what I wanted to achieve & at the time I was suffering from depression & wanted something to get my adrenaline going & help with my depression so I picked Body Combat. I went to the Thursday evening class at Riverside Ice & Leisure & really enjoyed it. I was exhausted afterwards but I felt so good that I had done it & enjoyed it that I resolved to go again. I then got the bug so to speak & decided to try Body Combat on a Saturday morning. Then as I wanted to try more classes I became a Leisure Plus Member and I now try & go at least twice a week. I have tried Body Pump, CXWorx, Grit (both strength & cardio), Body Balance & Dynamic Yoga at Dovedale Sports Centre. I feel fitter & healthier & I am now starting a healthy eating course run by the NHS. Without Rosie & Women Time I would never have built up the courage to start keeping fit or to continue as Rosie always asks how it’s going & shows an interest in how I’m doing. Thank you Rosie & Women Time.

SusanWomen Time Project 1 year in

I was very nervous and unsure about where to start with getting active and being in a gym environment. I felt I needed a lot of guidance on technique, how to use gym equipment and general fitness tips. I liked the idea of being in a small group setting as sometime I have found in big fitness classes the instructor cannot get around to everybody, plus personal trainer is very expensive. After 6 weeks I feel much more confident in the gym and my technique has really improved. Overall I really enjoyed how the session where structured and the instructor was very knowledgeable and motivated. This is just what I needed to kixk start my journey. So far I have lost over 1 stone in weight and I’m definitely signing up for the next course.

RachaelSmall Group Training

I heard about this group some time ago and thought it would be something I would like to try and help me lose weight. I thought the instructor was extremely good with the group she pushed people, but not out of their limits and made sure everyone was ok. Alternatives were given for people of differing levels. The group was great at supporting each other and was really nice only having a small number with the same goals. Considering this was the first ever group like this at South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre it worked really well and no improvements need to be made.

StephanieSmall Group Training

I was looking for a group to give advice on technique and tips on how to lose weight. The group was perfect being small as was less intimidating. I thought the instructor was excellent really friendly, knowledge able and motivating. This course met all my expectations and I feel it is real value for money. I would definitely recommend anyone who is nervous and looking to lose weight to join this course and give it 10/10!

FionaSmall Group Training

I’m always on the lookout for a bargain so when I saw the information about woMEn TIME Swimming sessions, it was too good to resist! I first sort-of learned to swim at secondary school, nearly 50 years ago then tried again when my children were small about 25 years ago, but never really gained enough confidence to go out of my depth, and didn’t keep it up. Still, I really wanted a way to keep fit in the winter (long walks in the cold and wet are not so great), so I signed up.

As you might imagine, I approached the first session with some trepidation. The first good thing was that we were in the learner pool, so there was no worry about going out of my depth (in fact, the opposite was true, because I discovered that my knees touched the bottom if I didn’t hold a good position in the water). Rosie, the teacher, was great! She treated us like adults, taking the time to explain the reason why something was best done in a certain way. She didn’t deny our fear (I wasn’t alone in being a bit fearful), but gently encouraged us to work through it and focus on the practicalities of learning the strokes.

The classes were very small – never more than six people at the ones I attended, and sometimes two teachers – so we received lots of attention and support. We were able to progress at our own pace, but were constantly encouraged gently towards the next step. We were all women, of course, but of greatly varied ages, and some were a little more confident than others.

By the end of the four week course, I think every one of us had managed to swim at least one length of the learner pool without a float. Wow! We were so proud of ourselves … and for each other! We’ve been told that there might be a follow-on class later in the year, to help build on our new skills and slowly growing confidence, and I will certainly sign up for that if it’s a time I can make. If not, I’m determined to keep practising so that this is third time lucky, and I finally acquire enough skill to swim with my grandchildren – before they are too old to be happy to be seen swimming with their granny.

HelenGive it a go - Swimming
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