People Can…Set Up a Walking Clubs
Taking part in a walking club is a fantastic way to staying to stay fit, meet new friends and explore the countryside. Walking is also very good for your community’s health and emotional well-being.
Start by ringing around
Begin by calling community-based organisations near you, such as your local community centre, faith organisations, schools, medical centre etc. They may be interested in helping you start a group. These organisations are already doing good work in your community and might have additional ideas and resources for you.
Promote your group
Raise awareness of your new group amongst family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours. Make some fliers and posters and send them to your local community centre, library, health club or place of worship.
Organise an informal get together so potential members can meet each other. You can do this at your own house or in a public place such as a local park or coffee shop. Develop a simple plan deciding when and where your group will meet and how many days a week and how long you will walk. Write up a contact list with phone numbers and email addresses so you can keep in touch and pick a start date.
Set some goals
Encouraging members to set team and individual goals will help keep people focused and gives everyone a greater sense of achievement. Suggest increasing the amount of time you walk each week or changing routes to include more difficult terrain.
There is a website with more general information about walks and health and safety on Bradford Walking for life website. It also has ideas for longer walks can be found at www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walk/search.
It’s as simple as that. It’s helpful to remind your team members by phone or e-mail the night before your first walk. You may also want to remind people to dress for the weather, wear good walking shoes and to bring water.
Celebrate your achievements
Celebrate meeting your goals by doing something special like meeting for a meal. Be sure to thank your team members for participating and encourage them to bring a friend next time.
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