by Karen Johnsom
South Holland District Council community development officer
Spalding’s Walking for Health group recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with 40 walkers joining together for a walk, buffet lunch and celebratory anniversary cake.
In May 2007, the district’s first-ever Walking for Health scheme was put in place. The Spalding group was the first to be set up.
Today 40-50 people meet every Monday at 10.45am at the South Holland Centre and choose either a short 30min or longer 60min walk. New walkers are always welcomed into the group. They have eight trained Walk Leaders and they are always in need of more as the number of people joining the walks increases.
A Facebook page www.facebook.com/spaldingwalks has been created to promote the initiative.
After the walk there is the opportunity to socialise with drinks and a biscuit. During the summer months the group goes on walks in other areas. Next Monday (June 19) they are meeting at Baytree Garden Centre for a walk around Weston and then on July 24 they will go to Burghley Park, Stamford.
Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It has also been proven to help prevent a number of diseases including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease. Members of the group have told us that walking in a group is underrated and is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.
A further benefit of the district’s walking scheme has been more than 50 volunteers trained as walk leaders. They are ambassadors for the walks and are responsible for ensuring that all walkers keep safe and enjoy themselves whilst out enjoying the fresh air. In addition, 14 people have received first aid training and 19 dementia friends have been registered.
South Holland has seven established Walking for Health schemes. Why not join one of them in Holbeach, Long Sutton, Sutton St James, Crowland, Donington or Spalding? For more information visit www.sholland.gov.uk/