Monday, 13 December 2010

Ramblers project selected by World Health Organisation (13/12/10)

The Ramblers Get Walking Keep Walking project has been selected by the World Health Organisation as an example of leading practice for promoting physical activity in socially disadvantaged groups.  

Get Walking Keep Walking is a twelve-week programme designed to get physically-inactive people walking regularly.  600 volunteers have been involved in either leading the walks or designing the walking routes. I recently reported in my blog that independent evaluation shows that, three months after finishing the course, participants maintain a significantly higher level of walking. A very high proportion report a greater feeling of well-being as a result.

On behalf of the World Health Organisation, NHS Scotland selected 29 case studies from 91 that were submitted from across Europe. The selection was subsequently reviewed and validated by an Expert Group and World Health Organisation secretariat staff.

Working wih NHS Scotland, Get Walking Keep Walking will be further analysed in more detail to describe: interventions and their applied approaches; target groups; overall effects and results and lessons learned. The report will be discussed by a World Health Organisation Expert Group and will be published as part of an overarching WHO document, due for publication in 2012. In the interim period, selected case studies will be published on the NHS Health Scotland website, with a link from the WHO website.

The Ramblers Get Walking Keep Walking scheme currently operates in limited geographical areas only, although the website can be used nationally. Here's some suggestions on how to make the most of the Get Walking Keep Walking success in every part of Britain:

-  Consider running short walk programmes for newcomers - good for publicity, and potential new members. 

-  Publicise the Get Walking website, which includes an online logbook and materials. 

-  Quote the success of Get Walking Keep Walking when campaigning locally - whether on footpaths, access, or walking promotion.

Congratulations to all the volunteers who are part of Get Walking Keep Walking. And thanks to the two funders of the scheme: the Big Lottery Fund and Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust.   

For more info about Get Walking Keep Walking

Tom Franklin


Ramblers - at the heart of walking for 75 years

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The Ramblers' Association is a registered charity (England & Wales no 1093577, Scotland no SC039799) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 4458492). Registered office: 2nd floor, Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.

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