Following a recent free training event organised by South Somerset District Council, two newly trained volunteers are leading the way in Yeovil.
The fully booked health walk leader training event gave volunteers all the information they needed to lead a safe and successful walk including advice on route planning, risk assessments, first aid and the benefits of exercise.
One of the newly trained volunteers, David Weale, said “I volunteered because the benefits of walking are numerous, including better health, socialisation, fresh air and being out in the countryside.”
Charlie Coward, Healthy Lifestyles Officer at South Somerset District Council, explained more about health walks in South Somerset, “The walks in Yeovil form part of a successful health walk scheme which has seen attendance rise to more than 7,300 last year. The scheme is accredited by Walking for Health which means that our walks comply with the required safety and insurance standards.
“To make it easier for residents to find their nearest walk we now produce a South Somerset Health Walks Directory three times a year. This is available across the district in a variety of outlets and on our website. This is a great way for residents to find the walk that suits them best.”
Health Walks in South Somerset create more opportunities for people to exercise in their local community, reducing the need to travel and providing low cost activity. The walks in South Somerset are sustainable and enable people to explore their local countryside whilst becoming more active and sociable in a safe environment.
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council said, “It is clear from the increase in participants and the fact that we now have 16 regular walking opportunities that our scheme is going from strength to strength. Dedicated volunteers such as Derek and David are a vital part in the success of our health walk scheme and it is encouraging that our free training events are always fully booked.”
To find out more about health walks in South Somerset visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/healthwalks or to find out about the next Health Walk Leader training course contact Charlie Coward on 01935 462347.
Health Walks is a National Scheme organised by The Ramblers Association. Photo shows new volunteers David Weale (left) and Derek Mexson (right) with Charlie Coward, Healthy Lifestyles Officer at South Somerset District Council.