Volunteer walk leader

Walking for Health wouldn't exist without our fantastic volunteer walk leaders, who lead health walks taking place around the country.

As a volunteer walk leader, you would be helping people in your community to get active and healthy, providing vital support that they otherwise might not get.  As well as ensuring walks are friendly, safe and well run, walk leaders are also our ambassadors for walking, their scheme and Walking for Health - showing people that walking really can make a big difference to their lives.

We've put together some more detailed information below, and then you can use the box on the right of this page to search for and contact your local scheme.

Role responsibilities

As a walk leader, you would be responsible for:

  • Walking health walk routes beforehand (“recce-ing”) to make sure you know them.
  • Welcoming walkers to the walks, particularly new walkers.
  • Giving a brief talk before the walk to make sure everyone is prepared.
  • Making sure paperwork like registration forms and registers are completed.
  • Leading and managing walks, usually jointly with other walk leaders (including “back marking or “middle marking” as well as leading at the front).
  • Making sure walks are welcoming, friendly, enjoyable and safe, following our best practice guidelines and the requirements of your scheme.
  • Trouble shooting and dealing with problems on walks, with the support of your scheme coordinator.
  • Providing information about other walks offered by the scheme and basic information about how to keep active.
  • Attending occasional walk leaders’ meetings and refresher training.
  • Staying in touch with the latest news and guidance from your scheme and Walking for Health.
In addition, depending on how your scheme is run, you could also be asked to help your scheme coordinator develop and risk assess new walking routes.

Skills needed

The main skill we need from our volunteer walk leaders is clearly demonstrated enthusiasm for walking and its benefits!  In addition, we love our leaders to be: 
  • Friendly, welcoming and empowering with good communication skills
  • Observant and sensitive to the needs of others
  • Knowledgeable about the basics of the benefits of walking and physical activity
  • Reliable, punctual, honest and well-organised
  • Able to work independently but with guidance and support
  • Confident at speaking in front of small groups
  • Able to take control and be assertive when needed

The benefits

Our walk leaders love their roles and tell us fantastic stories about how much they enjoy helping others to get active and get walking.  But in case that doesn't convince you, here are some of the other great benefits:
  • Full training with a nationally recognised and well respected scheme.
  • Ongoing support and guidance from your scheme coordinator and Walking for Health.
  • Access to Walking for Health resources and equipment to help you fulfil your role.
  • Opportunity to develop your leadership, people management and other skills.
  • Opportunity to meet new people including like-minded volunteers.
  • Opportunity to discover more of your local area and spend time in the outdoors.
  • Opportunity to be more physically active yourself.

What is the time commitment required? 

Most walks are short (around an hour or less) so including travelling, preparation and paperwork leading a single walk close to home typically takes around 2.5-3 hours, plus recces and occasional meetings and refresher training. Typical schemes expect their leaders to attend at least one walk a month, depending on the programme and the numbers of leaders they have.

Become a walk leader

If you'd like to become a walk leader then use the box on the right of this page to search for your local scheme and get in touch with them.  The scheme coordinator will be able to let you know about processes for training.

If you don't have a local scheme, then do get in touch with us and we'll do our best to help!