In March 2018 Greater Manchester set its ambition to be the world’s first daily mile city region. This ambition set a target for all nurseries, schools, universities and workplaces to adopt The Daily Mile. The aim of 75% of schools to be signed up by 2021 was set, however the GM Daily Mile ambition is clearly much wider than school settings.
Since then, people and organisations across Greater Manchester have been working together to encourage people to incorporate The Daily Mile into their setting.
By October 2018, 222 more schools had signed up across the city-region, taking the total to over 400. At this point, the GM Health and Social Care Partnership committed their support to the ambition; announcing £2 million of funding to support the expansion into nurseries and workplaces.
Further financial support for The Daily Mile was made in December 2018, when Sport England committed £1.5 million to support the programme’s growth within primary schools. This investment was to provide a number of local coordinators across England who would support and encourage more schools to sign up. Greater Manchester was one of the areas selected, with Greater Manchester’s Daily Mile Coordinator starting in January 2019.
In the year since the commitment three new schools, on average, signed up to The Daily Mile each week. The one year on mark also saw businesses called on to join the initiative. HSBC’s Spinningfields office was one of the first city region workplaces to back the ambition, encouraging its entire staff to complete a mile walk during the working weekday. They also started working with Spinningfields to encourage employees across the Spinningfields area to join a Daily Mile.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, the city region Walking and Cycling Commissioner Chris Boardman and The Daily Mile founder Elaine Wyllie visited the city centre office to join HSBC staff on their first walk, and called on more Greater Manchester businesses to get on board and support workers to walk for 15 minutes a day.
The Daily Mile Destinations programme was then launched in January 2020. This new programme was developed in collaboration between Daily Mile Coordinators across northern England and teachers. The cross-curriculum programme aimed to inspire schools to walk, jog or run for 15 minutes a day, travelling to various destinations around the world and learn about them as they go.
In January 2021, Greater Manchester celebrated the milestone of reaching 500 primary schools being signed up to The Daily Mile. A new letter of intent was also signed between The Daily Mile, and GreaterSport (on behalf of GM) at this time. This letter outlined the joint ambition to drive forward new opportunities to share learning, resources and collaborate with the principle aim of improving the physical, emotional and social well-being of children, young people and adults regardless of age or personal circumstances, across Greater Manchester.
An exciting step to grow the GM Daily Mile even further came in March 2021 with the launch of the GM Daily Mile Toolkit; taking The Daily Mile ward supporting workplaces, families and communities to do their Daily Mile into homes, communities and workplaces across the city-region. Designed to help people get out on a short walk each day, it has three tailor made versions: an Individual and Family Toolkit, a Toolkit for Employers and a Community Organisation Toolkit.
By July 2021 there were 530 primary schools in Greater Manchester signed up to The Daily Mile.