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WfH Hartlepool hits the streets
Published: 22nd June 2011
Hartlepool has much to show the world about how to get an effective health walk scheme up and running – fast.
It’s all systems go as a great new health walk scheme – Walk About in Hartlepool – gets under way.
Having already set up and managed a health walk scheme in Darlington, Rachael Pringle had a lot of experience to draw on when she became Walks Co-ordinator for the Hartlepool scheme.
In a matter of months, Rachael has:
- established relationships with local partners in order to find out what was happening locally;
- identified gaps in delivery and made plans to set up a new ‘doorstep’ walk programme for Hartlepool.
- approached potential Walk Leaders and organised a training course;
- run a series of well attended taster walks – building on this the scheme has now set up seven walks each week, including ‘normal’ walks and Nordic walks.
Health walk plans
More than 80 residents have already attended the walks which include Prambles and Nature Walks. Rachael is keen to attract new participants.
It’s great that Hartlepool now has a doorstep walk programme. Anyone who can walk can benefit. We are now finding ways to attract new walkers and Walk Leaders.
Involving the local community
Rachael also ran a competition within local schools to find a scheme name and logo. There were a great many entries and the standard was very good.
Judges included Kate Williams from the North East WfH team; Rachael herself and a local councillor. The winning name, Walk About in Hartlepool, was suggested by two year 5 pupils from Throston Primary School and chosen from among 290 entries.
The logo is now in the capable hands of students at Cleveland College of Art and Design.
Despite being a ‘young’ scheme, Walk About in Hartlepool has already gained WfH accreditation. This shows it has met certain criteria relating to health and safety and means participants, prospective partners, funders and health professionals can have added confidence in the scheme.
Accreditation also entitled the scheme to kit and equipment for Volunteer Walk Leaders, provided by Natural England.
Rachael has done a fantastic job of getting things going in Hartlepool; now the residents need to take advantage of the walks that are on offer.
Kate Williams, WfH Lead Adviser, Tees Valley