Combating social isolation with a winter walk in Plymouth

Published: 12th January 2018

Taking part in the Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks was the perfect way for one Walking for Health scheme to combat social isolation during the festive period.

Larissa Millden, Active for All Manager at Improving Lives Plymouth, explains why they decided to get involved.

“We support adults with mental health support needs and learning disabilities to get more active. Christmas can be a particularly challenging time for many people; especially those facing mental health difficulties who can find the festive season very isolating.”

With this in mind, Improving Lives Plymouth decided to organise a special winter walk along Plymouth’s waterfront, followed by a hearty lunch and a chance to socialise, as part of the festival.

Forty six walkers enjoyed the event on 3rd January, and were even joined by a crew from BBC Spotlight who filmed the walk for their evening news.

After completing their walk the group shared their New Year’s resolutions and hopes for 2018, taking time to reflect on the past year and their aspirations for the next one.

Lucy, who walks regularly with the group, said: “Every single person who attends the walks is fantastic; we are all family as well as good supportive friends. This on a weekly basis is a lifeline. The groups help me build my confidence and self-esteem.”

Reflecting on the event’s success, Larissa said: “It’s been great being able to offer such a positive and uplifting event so soon into the New Year. We had walkers old and new join us, and it was great to see so many people coming together on a wintry day to show that walking can be enjoyed in all weathers!

“We thank the Ramblers so much for supporting this event as part of the Festival of Winter Walks."

To find your nearest group walks click here.