Below is the story of how the Walking into Communities Project, started in Clay Cross and Danesmoor, has gained popularity within the local community and what it means to them. Story written by Hayley Bramley, North East Derbyshire Walking into Communities Development Officer.
Walking is a great way to get active and fit, but did you know that walking is also a great way to impact your everyday life, reduce loneliness and meet new people?
Through our Walking Into Communities Project in Clay Cross and Danesmoor, our project officer Hayley, helped to set up a new monthly health walk to encourage more people to step out and start walking. The Walking into Communities Project in Clay Cross and Danesmoor aims to get local people more physically active and bring people together socially.
Starting at Clay Cross Social Centre on Market Street in Clay Cross, the group meet up to discuss the route and use the facilities before setting off. Once everyone is ready, the group head out with Hilary, our qualified walk leader, leading the way. The routes are always easily accessible and offer a gentle introduction into walking. Hilary told us, “It is really important to make sure the walk fits the walker’s needs, we want to make sure that everyone has a good time and feels part of the group, and it’s free for everyone to join”.
The group are always chatting and move up and down the pack to speak to different people throughout the walk. Emma told us “Coming on these walks keeps me active and helps me meet new people, I really enjoy just being outdoors and appreciating what a lovely area we live in.” Kenning Park is a hidden gem in Clay Cross, and our walkers are always telling stories about their memories of the area; which is lovely to hear the connections that this park holds for the community.
The group will stop off to see The Kenning Park Forest School session and have a hot drink and warm around the fire before carrying on their walk. This interaction with other groups helps to create a sense of community wellbeing. Elsa told us “Stopping off to see other groups is so refreshing, it also means that we are learning about what is happening in the area and sharing this with our friends and it creates a hub of activity in Clay Cross”.
Once back at the Social Centre, they kick off their muddy boots to get the biscuits out and the kettle on. This part of the walk really allows people to relax and get to know each other better. The emotional benefits of just staying after the walk to chat and be in a social setting is very important to the walkers, and from this they now have their own group chat!
This walk is kindly supported by Clay Cross Social Centre, North East Derbyshire District Council, Walk Derbyshire and of course our fantastic walk leaders and walkers.
If you would like to join the Clay Cross Monthly Health Walk or have any questions then please contact Hayley Bramley on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07971 654854. The group meet on the fourth Thursday of each month (excluding December) at 1.15pm for a 1.30pm start at Clay Cross Social Centre. The walk is approximately 1 hour long and is aimed at a gentle walk on paths and flat fields.