Volunteer FAQs - Database
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the database. For more information please consult our database section.
If you have any other queries that are not answered below please get in touch.
In May 2015 we launched a new database which is managed by the Walking for Health national team.
The database holds information on walkers and walks, as input by walk schemes, in order to provide high quality evidence with which to evaluate walk schemes.
It is for organisations that deliver walk schemes (Local Authorities, NHS bodies, County Sports Partnerships, Voluntary Groups etc.) to monitor and evaluate their schemes; and for the national centre to evaluate Walking for Health as a public health intervention and report the findings, helping to secure future national and local funding and support from government and other organisations.
The database stores information about walkers taken from completed Walker Registration Forms, and information about walks and walk schemes as entered by you. The database can be used to create reports which can tell you:
- Who is walking, by age band, gender, ethnicity, health condition etc.
- How many people are walking, how often, and for how many hours
- Total attendance over time
- Number of new walkers joining over time
And much more. See our database page for more information and a user guide.
Because we don't need this information the emergency contact fields will eventually be removed from the database.
But we understand the reassurance that having this information can give to walk leaders. So we’ve provided a template for an ICE (In Case of Emergency) card in our leading a walk kit that schemes can give to walkers instead. It will be the responsibility of the walkers to carry this information with them if they wish to.
The information and reports available from the database provide you with evidence that enables you to:
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your Walk Schemes – are you achieving what you set out to achieve?
- Promote the success of your schemes using robust data.
- Report to funders and stakeholders.
- Track your progress, e.g. in targeting priority groups in your community.
Kelly Massey, a scheme coordinator based in Derbyshire, tells us: “The database is worth its weight in gold and allows us to pull off accurate data as and when required.”
There are five main steps to using the database:
- Add details of your walk scheme
- Add details of your walks
- Schedule your walks into the calendar
- Add details of your walkers from their WRFs
- Add your walk registers (on an ongoing basis)
Once all the above are done, you can run your reports.
This is up to you, but we recommend you do them as soon as you can after the walk, or perhaps set a time aside each week – it only takes a few minutes. This will prevent them stacking up, and will ensure your data is up-to-date and accurate.
One of our key areas of work in 2013 is a full review of data collection and management. We believe there are opportunities to make the process simpler and more streamlined for walkers, walk leaders and schemes, while retaining the robustness of the evidence base, which has clearly made a vital contribution to the longevity of Walking for Health and reputation as a project.
Any new systems will be developed and implemented in close consultation with schemes and with other stakeholders both to ensure that it meets practical needs and retains credibility as an evaluation tool. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact us.