Volunteer FAQs - Leading a walk

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about leading health walks. If you have any other queries that are not answered below please get in touch.

Walking for Health health walks are all up to 90 minutes to ensure we’re helping as many people as possible to get active.

For a short health walk over easy terrain there is no need for any specialist clothing or equipment. But for anyone attending a health walk we recommend the following:

• Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy, comfortable shoes or trainers.
• Several thin layers of clothing are better than one thick layer. You can take off layers as you warm up, or add them if you get cold.
• Take a good jacket unless you’re sure it’s not going to rain – it’s easier than an umbrella.
• Wear a hat: it keeps you warm in winter and protects you from the sun in summer.
• Wear gloves if it’s cold – it’s difficult to walk briskly with hands in pockets.
• Wear sun cream if you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time.
• Take a small bottle of water with you.
• A small backpack is more comfortable to walk with than an ordinary bag, but be sure to wear it properly with the straps adjusted to fit your body snugly.

For guidance please consult the information on the Ramblers website: Highway Code for walkers

We advise that local schemes determine whether walk leaders should attend basic first aid training. It is not a part of the Walking for Health insurance stipulations but it is good practice.

The following information from the Ramblers website should be used for guidance only and not as a substitute for proper training:

Welcoming children and vulnerable adults Walking for Health welcomes children and vulnerable adults on walks and activities as long as they are suitable. We are committed to equal opportunities and diversity and aim to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and not to discriminate on grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, race, sex (gender), sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or beliefs or non-belief, marriage or civil partnership, or pregnancy or maternity.

We, however, don’t expect our schemes to provide specialist care and support for people who have special needs or who are unable to care independently for themselves, or to take special responsibility for looking after children and young people under the age of 18.

Walking for Health schemes should only accept children and young people under the age of 18 on activities when they are accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or other person with equivalent responsibility for them such as a teacher or youth worker. We should only welcome vulnerable adults when they are accompanied by a carer or support worker to assist with their everyday needs.

Scheme coordinators and walk leaders sometimes need to make judgements that take into account the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved in a walk. They have a right to refuse a participant if in the leader’s opinion this would result in danger to the individual or danger or major disruption to the rest of the group. Our walk leaders will make these judgements on a fair and practical basis and without making stereotypical or unwarranted assumptions.

View our safeguarding policy here