A scheme aimed at getting more people in South Holland walking has celebrated its 10-year anniversary and organisers are keen to attract new members.
The district’s Walking for Health initiative marked the occasion with a celebratory event at the South Holland Centre recently, which was attended by 130 walk leaders and volunteers.
The scheme helps to support South Holland District Council’s priority of developing safer, stronger, healthier and more independent communities whilst protecting the most vulnerable. Walking for Health offers 13 walks across the district run by eight walking groups.
The health benefits of walking include: lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and strokes, improved heart, lungs and circulation performance, improved mood, reduced anxiety and it can help you sleep better.
Walking gets people active and can provide a safe place to meet others, which can also help people to manage or recover from any mental health problems.
The walks are led by friendly, knowledgeable volunteers who are specially trained for the job.
A total of 72 new walkers joined in 2016-17, bringing total membership to 329 and new particpants are always made to feel welcome.
But don’t just take our word for it – some of the walkers who attended the celebration have had their say on the many benefits that Walking for Health gives them.
A member of the Spalding group said: “I joined eight years ago and volunteered to become a walk leader. I think the main advantage has been meeting so many lovely people and of course, helping me to keep fit.”
A Donington walker said: “We joined because it seemed a great way of meeting new friends and getting to know our local area. My husband and I really look forward to our Tuesday ‘date’ – we always have a great time and laugh a lot.”
A member of the Crowland group added: “I joined after retiring because I was looking for things to do. It has brought me so many new friends, with other friendship groups growing out of the original walking one. Not only that but I feel much fitter.”
An Ayscoughfee walker added: “I suffered a stroke in 2014 which left me paralysed, but I eventually got mobile again. Walking has developed my leg muscles and my mental health, by meeting people and discussing everyday life. The walk leaders are excellent and you can take it as slowly as you like.”
To take part in one or more walks, free of charge each week, just turn up on the day as outlined below:
• Spalding: Monday 10.45am meet at South Holland Centre (30 and 60 minutes);
• Donington: Tuesday 10.30am meet at Ruby Hunt Centre (30, 45 and 90 minutes);
• Crowland: Wednesday 10.45am meet at Crowland library (30 and 60 minutes);
• Holbeach: Thursday 10.30am meet at Holbeach United Services Club (60 minutes);
• Sutton St James: Thursday 10am meet at Sutton St James Village Hall (60-90 minutes);
• Long Sutton: Friday 10.45am meet at Long Sutton library (60 minutes);
• Spalding (Ayscoughfee): Friday 11am meet at Ayscoughfee Gardens Café (30 minutes).
If you would like more information on the walks, or would be interested in becoming a ‘walk leader’, please contact the South Holland Walk Coordinator on 01775 762178 or visit www.sholland.gov.uk/article/3558/South-Holland-Walks