Volunteers needed to lead walks

MORE volunteer walk leaders are desperately needed to help with an increasingly successful health and fitness project.

MORE volunteer walk leaders are desperately needed to help with an increasingly successful health and fitness project.

Health walks - designed for people wanting to kick-start their own fitness regime, improve exercise levels or those battling back to health after a major operation or illness - are being enjoyed by people across the Suffolk Coastal area.

Walks, usually two to three miles long, are held in towns and villages, along the coast and at places of interest, every week as part of the Stepping Out in Suffolk series.

“Volunteering is a brilliant way for anyone enthusiastic about walking to pass on their passion, commitment and zest for life to those looking to ease themselves into an exercise routine,” said district council cabinet member Sherrie Green.

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“Becoming a walk leader will hone your problem-solving skills, test your ability to manage groups of people and provide you with experience of holding a position of responsibility, which could give your CV a welcome boost.”

Suffolk Coastal's new health walk co-ordinator Stephanie Cullen used the training she picked up as a health walk leader to gain a career with the council, joining Althea Unthank, who also became a health walk co-ordinator after leading walks.

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All volunteers receive training to support walkers of all ages and abilities, do risk assessments and manage problems that might arise.

“Leaders make a real difference to our walkers, inspiring confidence in those who might be coming back to exercise after a long absence or who may not be used to fitness routines,” added Mrs Green.

There are buggy walks for parents with small children, and walks that give people the opportunity to pursue their interests, such as one including a visit to the RAF museum in Martlesham and a Fair Trade themed walk in Felixstowe.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer walk leader or details of the latest walks, people should contact Althea Unthank or Stephanie Cullen on 01394 444501.

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