Introducing Health Walks in Ponteland 2019

Northumberland Health Walks are keen to introduce short weekly walks in Ponteland. Local resident Gordon Allan says “Health Walks take place in towns and villages across the County but for some reason there have never been any in Ponteland. Walking is great for your physical and mental health and it would be great to offer regular short weekly walks in and around our town.  Ponteland Park, the old railway bridlepath and the footpath behind the golf course are ideal for all year round walks.

Dawn Barrett, Health and Fitness manager at Ponteland Leisure Centre West and Northumberland Health Walks Co-ordinator Lorraine Oliver and Gordon are working together with the aim of starting the walks in April. To do this they need to recruit volunteers help them plan, lead and support the walks. If you would like to volunteer, or to find out more about the walks, please come along to a meeting that will take place at 10am on Tuesday 15th January at Ponteland Leisure Centre.

Lorraine says “The walks are part of England’s largest network of health walks, helping thousands of people across the country to lead a more active lifestyle . Our group walks are led by friendly, trained volunteers who are on hand to provide encouragement and support, and to make sure nobody gets left behind. Many of our walkers start because they want to improve their health, but they keep coming back because of all the new friends they have made. We want everyone to enjoy it too so our walks are short and over easy terrain. They are open to everyone but are especially aimed at those who are least active.”

Dawn in her role at the Leisure Centre says there is a demand for these walks, “Swimming or the gym is not for everyone. I meet a lot of people who don’t want to be inside on their own and would prefer to exercise outside in the fresh air and have the opportunity to meet other people. Colleagues across the County have told me so many people have used these walks to become active, or to regain their strength after a health problem or to get them out the house once a week.  Some move on to longer walks or other forms of exercise but a lot stay as it is a great way to meet and make friends. The walks often finish near a coffee shop”.

Lorraine who will do the volunteer training says it takes half a day in a classroom and then the volunteers go on a few walks to learn how to lead and back mark. Finally Lorraine says “Whilst some experience of walking is useful it is not essential and everyone is encouraged to come along and find out more at our meeting on the 15th January. It would be great to see Ponteland join the Health Walks family”.

For more information about the Health Walks Scheme please contact Lorraine Oliver on 01661 622368, or email or visit the website



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