June Newsletter - Ramblers Restart

Published: 15th June 2020
We hope you’re all keeping well. As a reminder, we have once again updated our coronavirus webpage following the latest government advice. The easing of lockdown measures allows more freedom for walkers, however the advice remains to limit your contact with others

We would like to reiterate that Ramblers Walking for Health group walks and activities remain suspended until further notice. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will reintroduce these activities only when we feel confident it is safe to do so.

During the COVID19 lockdown, we’ve spent a lot of our time connecting with schemes to understand their current status and talk about the future of Ramblers Walking for Health. These have been very positive conversations and great for us to understand more about what takes place locally. We will continue to hold these on an individual scheme basis during the summer by video/phone and hopefully restart face to face meetings once we can. Paul (North Schemes) or Lucy (South Schemes) will be in touch to arrange a call/video call. Please do bear with us as there are nearly 400 schemes we want to speak to!

Ramblers Restart 

With restrictions starting to ease, we have given the go ahead to restart some Ramblers Walking for Health volunteer activities on Friday 12 June – in line with what is happening across the Ramblers as well as government guidance. These include recces and risk assessments of routes. Group walks and activities remain suspended until further notice. In case you missed it, you can read more about these changes in our scheme zone.

Ramblers Membership Discount is Back

According to a recent YouGov poll, 74% of Britons took up exercise during the lockdown – with walking the most popular activity. To celebrate this renewed appreciation of walking, the Ramblers will be launching their new ‘Joy of Walking’ campaign in July and will be offering a 30% discount off the first year of membership.

Should any of your walkers be interested in becoming members, they can use the code A19M6W when they join online. The code can be used now until 30 September 2020. New members will receive a free buff to use in windy weather or as a face covering. 

Free Online Training - Mental Health Awareness for Sport & Physical Activity

To kick start Mental Health Awareness Week and show kindness to the sport and physical activity workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mind have made the Mental Health Awareness for Sport & Physical Activity training FREE until 31 August. This course was developed in partnership with Sport England, 1st4Sport and UK Coaching - click here for more information.

You can also access resources to support better mental health in the sport and physical activity sector on the Mind website.

Nature & Wellbeing – Virtual Tours & Walks

For many people, visiting parks and gardens is the main way of getting close to nature. Whilst this might not be possible for everyone right now, there are some virtual tours and walks that are bringing nature to you. Click here to join a virtual tour of Kew Gardens and Wakehurst from your home. You can also join a virtual walk around the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park by clicking here.

Several walking schemes have also started organising virtual health walks. Lewisham Healthy Walks are currently running virtual walk & talk sessions on a weekly basis. Click here for more information and links to individual sessions. The scheme was also featured in an article in collaboration with GoParksLondon, which you can read here.

Online Tools – New Guides for Volunteers

During this time we have all been using online tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, to help communicate. We are keen to support volunteers to get the best from these. The Ramblers have written two short guides, which will take you through the basics of how to hold a meeting online and how to join a meeting on Microsoft Teams. Both guides can be accessed via the scheme zone.

Helping Older Adults Stay Active – New Booklet

A new Active at Home booklet from Public Health England (PHE) aims to help older adults keep up their activity levels while isolating due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The booklet, part funded and co-developed by Sport England, is being made available to local authorities and partners to prevent ‘deconditioning’ in older adults. 

A drop in physical activity levels can lead to physical deconditioning that increases the risk of falls, loss of physical capacity and increased need for care during the coronavirus crisis. The booklet can be downloaded from the PHE Campaign Resource Centre and it's possible to add location-specific branding and contact details. You can find out more as well as view the booklet by clicking here.

We Are Undefeatable – New Campaign and Leaflet

Following their most recent webinar, We Are Undefeatable will be back on TV, radio, social media and in national news coverage from 22 June for six weeks. A large proportion of the target audience is likely to be shielding/isolating for some time – many with limited or no access to online support and information. 

The new We Are Undefeatable leaflet includes a pull-out exercise guide to support people to get active at home and will be distributed via supermarkets, local activation areas and charity partners from mid-June and will also be available to download from the website. If you would like to receive We Are Undefeatable leaflets, do get in touch via email - weareundefeatable@ageuk.org.uk .

A new COVID-19 Insight Pack, created in collaboration with Sport England, will also be available on the Supporters Hub from the week commencing 8 June.

Walking for Back Pain – A Chiropractor’s Perspective

We were approached by Shane Derbyshire, a chiropractor based in Norwich, to collaborate on an article on the benefits of walking to alleviate back pain. You can read the full article here. Shane strongly recommends his patients to utilise the benefits of walking to manage back pain and other conditions, and takes long walks himself in the local Norfolk countryside to help maintain his health. If you would like to read more information on how to manage back pain, please check out his blog.

Happy 90th Birthday to Gordon Bennett

Holsworthy Walk & Talk proudly announced that walk leader Gordon Bennett recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

In June 2006, Gordon underwent heart by-pass surgery followed by post-operative therapy. As part of the therapy, individuals were encouraged to join the Holsworthy Walk and Talk group which had been started by the late David Arney two years earlier. With David’s encouragement, Gordon managed to start walking and eventually was asked to become a walk leader.

In 2014, together with two other leaders, Gordon set up a new level 1 walk for those less able to walk, called A Walk in the Park. The walk regularly attracts a high number of participants and Gordon plans to continue leading this walk for the foreseeable future.

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