A welcome from Ramblers and Macmillan

Published: 3rd April 2012
The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support extend a warm welcome to everyone involved in Walking for Health.

The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support extend a warm welcome to everyone involved in Walking for Health – scheme coordinators, cascade trainers, walk leaders, helpers and of course the most important people, the walkers– from the new national centre of England’s health walks network.

We’re confident that Walking for Health has a secure and exciting future. Nationally we aim to ensure the scheme benefits hundreds of thousands of people and makes a vital contribution to public health by helping them enjoy that simplest and most accessible form of healthy physical activity, walking in the outdoors.

We are proud to be able to provide a new home for Walking for Health, and look forward to building on the excellent work of Natural England, and of the scheme coordinators, trainers, volunteers and all the many other individuals and organisations involved in making the project such a great success since it started in 2000.

We look forward to working with everyone involved in Walking for Health to strengthen it still further – while remaining true to the essential idea of short, easy group walks led by trained leaders that are free and accessible to all.

We know that the combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction offered by Walking for Health is good for everyone’s health and wellbeing. Two thirds of adults in England currently don’t meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines on physical activity, and walking is one of the easiest things people can do to change this.

Activities like health walks are especially beneficial for those with long term health conditions.  For example physical activity can help manage some of the debilitating consequences of cancer treatment, and can even help reduce the chance of some cancers coming back

Thank you all for your patience during the handover period. We worked with Natural England to retain essential services like insurance, the website and the database throughout. Please bear with us a little while longer as we pick up other services, such as the administration of training and accreditation.

Please note that no staff have moved to the Ramblers from Natural England so we are recruiting a new team – see www.ramblers.org.uk/jobs for details of current vacancies.

We are also inviting expressions of Interest by 1 May from organisations who are interested in hosting a regional Walking for Health development officer.

If you are a scheme coordinator, volunteer/helper or trainer please read our update on Walking for Health services. Note that some procedures have changed, and that we have new contact details. We will be organising three regional events for scheme coordinators in the coming months. Please look out for further details.

We’re sure you will join us in thanking staff at Natural England, not only for their work in running Walking for Health so well, but also in ensuring a smooth handover to the Ramblers and Macmillan. We wish them the very best for the future.

But in the end, as Natural England staff said in their farewell message, Walking for Health is all about the walkers. We will work hard to support your local scheme, and to ensure you can continue to enjoy great walks close to home in a friendly, positive atmosphere. A very warm welcome to all of you!