Despite demonstrating students outside Manchester Town Hall and lots of snow, the first event to showcase the success of Get Walking Keep Walking was held in the Mayor’s Parlour at Manchester City Hall yesterday, attended by over 50 people, many from health and local authorities.
Get Walking Keep Walking is a Ramblers project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, to introduce people to walking and thereby help them to improve their physical and mental health. [This fits in with one of our four charitable objectives, namely, to “promote, encourage or assist in
the provision of facilities for the organising of open-air recreational activities and in particular rambling and mountaineering with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities are intended, namely the public at large, and in the interests of social welfare (including health)” – quite a mouthful, and written in rather archaic language, but it still makes sense.]
There was good understanding that in this time of austerity there is an opportunity to have more joined-up delivery of walking schemes. Presenters included Manchester NHS, existing and new volunteers, the independent evaluators of the project, the Lord Mayor and a variety of project staff. Salle Dare, from the new Manchester and Salford Group (that was set up as a result of Get Walking Keep Walking, and is mainly run by people who got involved with the Ramblers through Get Walking Keep Walking), demonstrated how grant funded projects and local Groups can complement each other.
With her Area hat on, Salle is helping to set up meetings with Groups to see how some of the principles of GWKW can be taken on by Groups.
The event provided a good opportunity to show how the Ramblers is evolving and developing new activities alongside the ones we are traditionally known for, and how traditional and new can complement each other.
Feedback forms suggest everyone went away inspired and enthused, having learnt something new. Thanks to everyone involved, particularly the Manchester Get Walking Keep Walking volunteers. Other such events are taking place in Birmingham, Sheffield and London.
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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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