Back in 2018, I started up a “healthy walk” to encourage both myself and others to take time to enjoy our wonderful green spaces and parks, and to meet others too, writes Anne McBride.
I had been given some free training and wanted to encourage myself and others to fit more physical activity into our lives.
I’m pleased to say that we now we have five volunteer walk leaders (having started with just two) and we can get up to eight or nine walkers in total. Some quotes to give you a flavour of our walk:
Julie (volunteer walk leader): “It’s good to be out in the fresh air, physically and mentally. “
Charles (walker): “We do a few different routes round the park, I quite like that.”
Nicola (another regular): “We’ve tried five different cafes and it has been enjoyable.”
Our walk meets at 13:30 on the first and the third Wednesday of the month. We skipped New Years Day which fell on a Wednesday but otherwise we meet and walk.
We meet at the Riverside Reception area of Lewisham Hospital (Orange Zone) which is by the river and not far from the tennis courts in Ladywell Fields.
Or walks last about 45 minutes around varied routes in beautiful Ladywell Fields. Although we haven’t yet done so, we are thinking about using the new outdoor gym equipment at the Catford end of the park.
We’re waiting for dry weather before we try it though. Two of our walk leaders, Nila and Joan, are also fitness instructors (Zumba) so they can give us some ideas and help us to exercise safely.
Another walk leader, Clive, is a volunteer Diabetes mentor. Our walk is a specialist walk for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
There is so much you can do through healthy eating and exercise – you can put your Diabetes into remission if you are very determined and disciplined.
When I started the walk, I was motivated because my mum had Type 2 Diabetes and she had other health problems like high blood pressure.
I now work in community health (part-time) and really enjoy making connections with local people through the work I do.
We would never turn anyone away from our walk – so you don’t have to have Diabetes to come along – but we are there for people who do have it and want a bit of support.
We love checking out the birds and squirrels in the park, watching the river as it changes through the seasons and chatting to each other.
We try to walk at a pace that’s comfortable for all and we sometimes have two groups – a slightly faster group and a slower one.
At the end of our walk, we stop off for a drink at one of the local cafes.
Our volunteer walk leaders who are trained as part of the BeInspired programme. For further info about the walks or to become a walk leader, contact Jenny Budd, Lewisham Healthy Walks Co-ordinator on 020 8269 4890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be Inspired is a project that aims to improve the health of Lewisham residents by running free Cookery Clubs across the borough, offering healthy eating support and training to volunteers, as well as the healthy walks programme and one-off health events.
More info here:https://gcda.coop/lewisham-cookery-club/Be Inspired is run by GCDA (Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency) and is funded by Public Health Lewisham.
For further information or to sign up for the next round of cookery clubs, call 020 8269 4880 or email email@example.com