Waltham Forest Feel Good Walks
The Feel Good Walks in the London Borough of Waltham Forest have been well established for 2 years, however a new approach has given the scheme a lease of life with more and more people getting involved each week.
They have launched 3 new partnership walks, and now have 4 weekly community hub walks across the borough. In the April – June period,110 individuals attended the health walks, walking for a total of 493 hours with the groups.
‘The Feel Good Walks have been a god send to me, before my neighbour recommended I join one of the groups I didn’t have any reason to get out of the house some days. Now I make sure I go to at least one a week, sometimes I’ve been known to go to all 4!’
This increase in participation has been as a result of creating new partnerships with local voluntary and community sector organisations, who have been beneficial in promoting the walks, but also interested in starting their own walks – with 33 new Walk Leaders trained in the last 3 months.
In the past 3 months, Feel Good Walks have additionally strengthened links with Social Prescribers and the Falls Prevention units within the area – who have recognised the Feel Good Walks as suitable for their clients, due to additional qualifications a number of our walk leaders have.
They also carried out a social media campaign for National Walking Month in May, which boosted awareness of the walks and encouraged walkers to share their stories in order spread the word about how friendly, inclusive and great the Feel Good Walks are.
Moving forward, The Feel Good Walks will continue to grow, with a small number of newly trained leaders currently hosting their own walks. As a scheme, they are providing one to one support and mentoring in order to ensure these new leaders are confident in volunteering.
Over the coming months, they will be aiming to establish more targeted walks, focussing on using the health walks as a means of tackling social isolation, specifically focussing on BME women and parents of young children.