July Newsletter - A Cautious Restart

Published: 15th July 2020

Following the reintroduction of some individual volunteering activities last month, we’re pleased to say that small group walks of up to 6 people can resume from this month, subject to following the latest government guidelines.

Whilst small group walks can restart from this month, there is no obligation to do so. We know that COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways. We will support each scheme to make the right choice for them, based on their personal circumstances. If you do plan to restart small group walks this month, please visit our website for more information on the steps that you and your volunteers must take. Large group walks and activities remain suspended until further notice.

Should you decide to restart small group walks from this month, we would welcome any feedback around implementing our guidance, so we can share this learning with other schemes.

The Ramblers Response to Black Lives Matter

Tanya Curry (CEO) and Kate Ashbrook (Chair) have issued a joint statement in response to the recent worldwide protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. We wanted to take this opportunity to say to all our partners, volunteers and walkers, but particularly those who have been personally affected by racism or discrimination in any form, that we stand in solidarity and support with you.  

We want to become a truly diverse organisation and achieve our ambitions around fairer access to the outdoors for everyone. If you have any questions, please do get in touch by email. 

Roam Sweet Home – Thank You for Taking Part

As Covid-19 spread around the world, the spirit and sense of fun that emerged during this period has been truly inspiring. Our #RoamSweetHome campaign has helped keep up the morale of our wonderful community of walkers, and inspired many of us to remain active and connected to each other. Thank you for taking part!You can now watch a short video showing a few lovely examples of what we’ve been up to over the last few months. 

Rights of Way – Webinar for Volunteers

As part of a series of activities organised during Volunteers’ Week back in June, we ran a webinar for volunteers about Rights of Way. The webinar included an overview of the law relating to Rights of Way and access, and covered some of the most common questions the Ramblers get asked about public footpaths and what we can do to help protect the network of footpaths we enjoy.

Following this webinar, the Ramblers have created a series of 9 Rights of Way videos, each focusing on a different element of the webinar content. Do share this link with any volunteers who missed the live event in June. 

Connecting during Covid – Your Stories

The Warley Woods walking group are part of the Sandwell Stride Walking for Health scheme, which takes place across Sandwell’s parks, nature reserves, canal network and urban trails. Winston Walker is one of the leaders and, at age 77, has been walking with the group for 15 years.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Winston has made it his personal mission to keep the group active, involved and socialising. He has adapted to successfully using various online platforms to deliver daily exercise sessions, weekly coffee mornings and live cooking demonstrations via the group Facebook page.

Those members of the group without access to the internet have not been forgotten either - Winston has been ringing those who live on their own without technology and just saying hello. Winston’s fantastic efforts have kept the group together during the lockdown period; he has now organised several small group walks, in line with current guidelines.

Winston is a fantastic role model and an inspiration for all walk leaders, demonstrating perfectly the ethos of the Walking for Health programme and the mental, physical, social and emotional benefits that come from being part of a local scheme as either a walker or a leader.


Free Online Training from Dementia Adventure

If you have an interest in supporting people living with dementia to access nature and the outdoors, Dementia Adventure are offering free online information sessions. Each session will include topics like health and well-being benefits of contact with nature, as well as how to enjoy the outdoors on your doorstep. Click here to join a free session, for more information you can also email training@dementiaadventure.co.uk

Videos of the Month – Arthritis Action

We are once again linking with Arthritis Action to bring you more helpful videos that may benefit walkers and volunteers alike while some restrictions are still in place. Topics include dealing with persistent pain, understanding emotions and weight management. Do share these videos with anyone you feel may benefit from them.

Return to Play – Mental Health Guidance from Mind

As lockdown begins to ease, sport and physical activity is starting to resume. However, early evidence shows that many will be returning with impacted mental health. Mind have created a free ‘return to play’ guide, to equip the sector with the tools and information required to support the mental health of staff, volunteers and participants as we ‘return to play’.

It includes guidance, good practice, tools and insight to help the sector provide an environment that supports the mental health of the people working, volunteering and participating in sport and physical activity. The guide is available now on the Mind website

Royal Voluntary Service – Virtual Village Hall

The Royal Voluntary Service have recently launched a virtual village hall – a live hub of activity and engagement for people to interact with while at home. Activities are led by expert tutors, Royal Voluntary Service activity coordinators as wells as volunteers, and are designed to do at home with very little space or equipment needed. Activities cover everything from arts and crafts through to Zumba and baking. For more information, please visit the Royal Voluntary Service website. Do share this link with anyone you feel may benefit from these activities.

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.We have received very positive feedback about our newsletter lately and we hope it reaches as many of you as possible, however we know some of you have been in touch regarding no longer receiving it and accidentally unsubscribing from the distribution list.

This would normally happen if you forwarded the email to someone else, and the secondary recipient clicked the unsubscribe link. Unsubscribe links are tied to the original recipient, so please encourage your contacts not to unsubscribe you when you forward the newsletter to them.  

Ramblers Walking for Health Team
Ed, Alice, Emily, Lucy & Paul