Walking for Health back after lockdown

FRIENDS were formally reunited after lockdown when Walking For Health sessions restarted this week.

Almost 20 free walks take place around the island each week, led by trained volunteers, and most of them are accessible by bus.

Each lasts for 30 minutes and ends at a cafe for a hot drink. They are designed to be suitable for anybody to get fitter and socialise.

‘For some of our walkers it is the highlight of their week,’ said walk leader Sharon Bodkin.

‘Some of them live on their own so it’s their main social event and it really makes a difference meeting up for a bit of exercise and a chat.’

Usually the Wednesday sessions at Saumarez Park are the most popular, with more than 30 attending, but this week numbers were thwarted by a lack of parking during the Easter holidays.

‘About seven or eight leaders generally come each time. The only condition for joining is being able to walk for 30 minutes.’

Evelyn Millard said she has been attending since 2001 and the walks have never been boring as there is always something new.

‘It’s the people which make it interesting, we talk about all sorts,’ she said.

The Walking for Health group at the first post-lockdown walk. (29411057)

‘Gerry Le Roi started it, who does the defibrillators around the island. I think it’s just lovely being back again.’

Leader Pat Child said: ‘Some of the walkers met up for unofficial walks in lockdown, just walking as friends socially distanced bringing flasks. I love hearing from the people on the walks, and the fact that some have such interesting stories.’

June Tucker said: ‘I am 93 and have been going since near the beginning.’

Her stories are a firm favourite with other walkers.

‘I went over to Alderney before all the people came back after the evacuation. I worked for Essential Commodities supplying food with my boss. There were soldiers there clearing everything up.’

Former walk leader Paul Laine said: ‘I’m very pleased to be back, I just love a walk. It’s all very sociable which is good for us too. This one is very popular. I think in general it’s a brilliant idea, particularly this one if they especially the way things have been. So to get out and see everyone does so much good, especially for some people who really struggled with lockdown.’

. Contact the Health Promotion Unit on 707311 from Monday to Friday, or visit walkingforhealth.org.uk for information.

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