Simply Walk returns!
Simply Walk, Buckinghamshire Council's health walk scheme, has made a welcome return. In the first week, nearly 500 people attended on a total of 38 walks.
Simply Walk restarted some of its group walks, on Friday 4 September, having been suspended since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many have expressed their huge relief and thanks, having been isolated for months from their walking friends, says Simply Walk co-ordinator Fiona Broadbent.
She said a great deal has been done behind the scenes to ensure the safety and well-being of the volunteers who lead the walks, and the walkers. A new booking system is in place, walks are limited to a maximum of 30, and all walkers are responsible for following the COVID safe guidelines.
Clive Harriss, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure says:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us are staying at home and sitting down more than ‘normal’, so it’s now more important than ever that we look after our physical and emotional wellbeing. We need to move more and sit less. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
“A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. I’d highly recommend joining one of the many walks on offer; you’ll get some exercise and you may also make some new friends along the way.”
Nick Naylor, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, paid tribute to the army of 274 volunteers for their continuing commitment, support and fortitude.
He said: "Our volunteers are magnificent! Against all the odds they are willing to keep going to ensure Simply Walk continues. Walking is the silver bullet for mental, physical and emotional health, and we need it more now than ever before.”
Walking for Health organised group walks, such as Simply Walk, are categorised as outdoor physical activity events, which are exempt from the latest restrictions, (as of Monday 14 September) as they meet the protocols, and put extra measures in place to reduce the risks of COVID-19.
Simply Walk, funded by Buckinghamshire Council and donations from walkers, is part of a countywide programme of free, volunteer-led walks, which aims to help people get outdoors and be more active.
The walks are all sociable and walkers don't need any special equipment to join in - just a pair of comfortable shoes. The programme runs all year, including weekends, and offers a choice of different walk lengths and locations, and more information can be found on our Simply Walk webpage.