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Tackling Social Isolation in Alston Through Walking for Health

March 5, 2020

A new health walk has just been launched in Alston as a measure to reduce loneliness and social isolation in the area. The walk aims to not only help people to get out and about and explore their local area but also to provide a safe environment to get out and about, become better connected and feel fitter and more motivated.

We are leading on a Countywide Walking for Health Scheme and are recruiting and training new walk leaders across the County.

New Walk leader, Andrea from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation's Wellbeing Service said

“We hope that the walk will provide you all with a gentle inclusive route to enable opportunities to socialise and exercise at a slower pace in the beautiful countryside of Alston Moor. This is a new group for the Alston area. We welcome those returning to exercise, parents, grandparents, buggies and dogs on leads who want to get out in the fresh air for approximately 45 minutes; the walk is fairly flat with a gravel track. The route is an out and back which provides scope for a variety of abilities – join us and walk as far as you wish. There are toilets and more importantly tea and cake available on return to the station.”

This new group has been set up in partnership with Active Cumbria, with the focus upon planning suitable walks across the County within the Walking for Health framework. Walking for Health is England's largest network of free group health walk schemes, run by the Ramblers and supported through funding from players of People’s postcode lottery and Sport England.

Aileen Grant, Development Officer at Active Cumbria said;

“Our focus is upon tackling inactivity and supporting people to become more physically active within their own communities, and what better way to do this than walking? There are much wider benefits from walking, and walking in a group, with a social activity at the end is proven to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. Nationally, we know that walking is the most popular activity, and a near perfect thing to do for those looking to become more active. We would love to see as many people as possible joining our health walks and discovering some of the fantastic scenery on their doorsteps.”

 Claire Driver, Cumbria County Councillor for Alston and East Fellside said:

“Just spending an hour out of the house and having the opportunity to chat and enjoy such stunning surroundings can make a huge difference to how we feel in the short term, but also in the longer term, as those already involved with local walking groups know. This walk offers a chance for those who perhaps haven’t taken part in those groups to try this for themselves and see if it works for them, a great initiative!”

Alston Station Bridle Way Walk will take place every 2nd Thursday from the 5th March 2020 from 1.30pm meeting outside of the Alston Station Café/carpark. The group is free to join and all are welcome on these weekly walks.

For further information please contact Andrea Robinson on 07920765573 Monday – Friday from 9-5.