May Newsletter - Connecting During Covid

Published: 15th May 2020

We hope this newsletter finds you all well and that you’ve been able to enjoy the lovely weather we continue to have while exercising near home. As a reminder, we have now updated our coronavirus webpage following the latest government advice. All Ramblers Walking for Health activities remain suspended until further notice. This includes group walks, social activities and group meetings. You can also find more information on walking responsibly, as well as ideas to help stay active locally via our #RoamSweetHome campaign.

We wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for the ways you are supporting your volunteers and walkers during this continued period of restrictions. We are overwhelmed by the number of testimonials and stories that you’ve sent us, and we’ll do our best to include at least a few in every newsletter.

Connecting during Covid – Your Stories

 “To try and help keep people in touch I have been sending out newsletters and encouraging people to use any of the methods available to our modern society. One of our walkers recently suggested that we ask anyone who goes on walks to take some pictures along the way. Several have taken to doing just that so I update the Goring Gap Health Walks website every evening with the images sent in during the day. We are so lucky to have such superb places in which to walk right on our doorstep.” - Bernard Novell, Coordinator, Goring Gap Health Walks

“Although Wiltshire Council’s Get Wiltshire Walking programme has been suspended, the walking coordinators have made more than 100 calls to the group members to ensure they feel supported and connected during this difficult time. Calls to our Walk Leaders and walkers have been warmly received, between us we have been able to identify people who have been feeling lonely and isolated and arrange regular phone calls, texts and email chats to lift their spirits and put a spring back in their step. One thing that every person has said is - we can’t wait until the walks resume and we can all meet up for a walk again.” - Louise Gale, Coordinator, Get Wiltshire Walking

Inspiring Videos

We’re working to identify inspiring and uplifting video content we can share with you each month. We have also received several videos from scheme coordinators and volunteers - thank you!

This month we would like to feature this video interview with Dr William Bird MBE. In this video Dr Bird interviews Professor Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme, to discuss fitness and ageing as well as the impact of the Coronavirus.

We would also like to share this very uplifting video from Jo Bennet, Ramblers Walking for Health Scheme Coordinator in Salford. In this video, Jo shares her tips for how to celebrate National World Earth Day 2020 during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Sport England Active Lives Release

This month Sport England issued their Active Lives release covering the 12 months to November 2019. It shows that activity levels were at a record high before COVID-19 and inactivity was falling, a strong indication that our collective work was making a positive difference.

And so, we wanted to take a moment to highlight what you are contributing to:

  • Over the last 12 months, the number of adults who are regularly active has increased by 404,600 to 28.6m adults in England or 63.3% of the adult population
  • There are 159,500 fewer inactive adults
  • The increased activity levels have largely been driven by increases in women, older adults and people with disabilities or long-term health conditions

#StayInWorkOut campaign

This month Sport England also launched their new Join the Movement #StayInWorkOut campaign film. You can watch the film by clicking here.

Initially launched in late March, Join the Movement provides inspiration and information to help people get active in an around their home during the lockdown. Join the Movement is supported by a TV advert as well as a website, which brings together some of the best online workout and activity content, with sections for specific demographics such as older adults and those with long term health conditions.

Free Ramblers Routes for Individual Walking

Should you or your walkers need inspiration on where to walk or exercise, you may want to have a look at Ramblers Routes, an online library of routes for individual walkers. Routes include detailed directions plus points of interest and advice on how to get to the starting point. All Ramblers Routes less than 3 miles are free to access – you can find more information here.  

Staying Active at Home with Arthritis Action

We are all spending more time at home than we might like, so staying physically active and mentally well are now more important than ever. Arthritis Action have put together a series of useful links including exercise videos and a mental health directory, to help people sustain a healthy lifestyle while remaining at home. You can find more information on the Arthritis Action website.

Ann Sayer MBE – In Memoriam

The Richmond Health Walks scheme sadly announced that Ann Sayer MBE has passed away. Ann was one of Richmond Health Walks longest standing and most valued leaders and passed away after a short illness. Ann was a walker and world-record holder of Multiday Events. 

In 1977 Ann walked 100 miles in the Dutch 100 Miles race at St. Oedenrode. She was the first British ‘Continental Centurion’ and the first British female Centurion. In 1980 she walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats (1400km) in 13 days and 18 hours. She broke the Across Great Britain World Record as well as the Across Scotland World Record.


Share Your Story

If you have any stories or examples of how your walkers are staying active, we would love to hear from you so we can share them with all Ramblers Walking for Health schemes. Please send any stories or examples to us via email.Best wishes
Ramblers Walking for Health Team
Ed, Alice, Emily, Lucy & Paul