Feet First Furness a project run by Age UK in Barrow has joined the new Cumbria Walking for Health Scheme run by Active Cumbria. They are now seeking new volunteer Walk Leaders to deliver the Walking for Health scheme to more people in Barrow.
Bruce Lawson, Senior Manager at Active Cumbria said: “As part of our focus on tackling inactivity, we are extending the Walking for Health programme into Barrow working with Feet First Furness. This programme like many others relies on volunteers. Volunteers are vital to helping people access sport & physical activity. As a volunteer walk leader, you will help people in your community to get active and healthy, providing vital support that they otherwise might not get.”
In Cumbria, almost 100,000 adults aged 16+ are deemed inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. This figure changes dramatically in some districts such as Barrow where 28% of the population are inactive, in comparison to the national average of 25.7%. This equates to 15,500 people who are at risk of developing serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Nationally, walking is the most popular activity, and is a great way to turn the tide on inactivity making it a near perfect activity for those looking to become more active. Walking makes people happy, gets them out and about and helps people stay healthy. The sedentary nature of modern, busy lives makes it difficult for many to find the time for enough physical activity and research from Sport England found that four out of 10 (40%) adults in England walk less than ten minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace. Yet just a brisk 10 minute walk every day can make a real difference to your health.
Walking for Health is England’s largest network of free group health walk schemes, run by the Ramblers and supported through funding from players of People’s postcode lottery and Macmillan.
Active Cumbria are now seeking to roll the programme out further and need walk leaders from all walks of life. During a walk, walk leaders are at the front, middle or back of a group – making sure everyone is safe and happy. They plan routes, support walkers and act as ambassadors for walking – showing people that walking really can make a big difference to their lives.
If you want to join a walk, Feet First Furness, has walks taking place on the following:
- Wednesdays: meet at Mill Lane Childrens Centre Café, Walney 10.30am – Walney Shoreline Walks down to Earnse Point then South along the shore to Sandy Gap and Biggar Bank.
- Thursdays: Barrow Park walks – meet at the Park Leisure Centre Foyer 10:30am
- Fridays – meet at Lakeland House, Abbey Road 11.00am – variety of short walks around the town.
If you want to be a walk leader
All you need is a passion for walking, to be a ‘people’ person i.e. good communication skills, friendly and welcoming, and keen to lead and support others to discover the wonders of walking.
No previous experience is needed as full training and ongoing support will be provided. So whether you’re an existing volunteer looking to develop new skills, work with a community group or organisation or simply love walking, Active Cumbria want to hear from you!
The training course will take place on Thursday 20th September from 9:30am – 3:30pm at Cumbria CVS, Hartington Street, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 5SR. To book your place please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walking-for-health-volunteer-walk-leader-course-barrow-tickets-49126825658?aff=efbeventtix