A RUNNING group set up to boost community cohesion and improve health in Rose Hill has celebrated its first anniversary.

Rose Hill Runners was founded by music tutor Trev Williams last summer and now has 10 regular runners.

Some of the group’s beginners have advanced so quickly that they were able to tackle the Town and Gown 10k run through Oxford in May.

Some of the group will also be entering the Oxford Half Marathon in October.

Mr Williams, 34, said: “The group has been a great success.

“We have had some challenges such as when I broke my ankle in May, which made it quite hard to lead the group."

But he added: "We have had a lot of support and I want to thank the people who have supported us along the way. We have 10 people coming each week and the new community centre in Rose Hill, which opens in December, will let us start the runs there.

“We have got some runners who have gone from beginner to 5k level and we have got a group doing the half marathon.

“That is the longest distance those beginners will have done.”

The group meets in The Oval in Rose Hill at 7pm every Monday and runs a 5k route around the estate. The first Monday of each month is aimed at new runners and the group has also held socials in Rose Hill Community Centre.

Mr Williams added: “The group has got a real community link. At the moment we are keeping up one group but the hope would be to have two or more groups.

“We have linked up with Headington Road Runners so they can pass members on to us and we can pass runners to them when they become more advanced.

“We want to keep going and celebrate what has worked over the past year.

“The Oxford Half Marathon is the next stop and then moving to the new community centre in Ashhurst Way in December, which will be great for us.

“It has been a great year and I want to thank our run leaders Zoe, Emma and Mike and volunteers Stephen, Mike and Lilli, as well as the Lottery Project for help initially and GoActive for the training they gave us.”

Rose Hill city councillor Ed Turner said the group had been good for the estate.

He said: “’It is brilliant that the group continues to flourish after its first year. We live in a beautiful area of Oxford making this a particularly good way to keep fit.”