Walk­ing group is com­ing on in leaps, bounds and friend­ship

A walk­ing group that helps peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the great out­doors is cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary. LAURA MOWAT speaks to a vol­un­teer from Holmer Green Sim­ply Walks to find out what draws peo­ple to join them each Mon­day

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

HOLMER Green Sim­ply Walks started 10 years ago with 12 mem­bers. To­day 80 peo­ple en­joy stretch­ing their legs while tak­ing in the countryside each Mon­day morn­ing.

To mark the an­niver­sary, the walk­ers held a spe­cial pic­nic on Mon­day at Holmer Green Bap­tist Church.

They are vol­un­teer-led walks or­gan­ised as part of Bucks County Coun­cil’s Sim­ply Walk scheme. All the lead­ers have been trained by the coun­cil.

Vol­un­teer leader Elaine Barn­well said: “I joined when I re­tired and it is great that we are get­ting more and more mem­bers all the time.

“I re­ally en­joy it, it gets peo­ple out and about.”

There are dif­fer­ent walks that peo­ple can do: a longer coun­try walk of four miles, a shorter walk and a very gen­tle walk for peo­ple who can’t walk far, such as those who are re­cov­er­ing from surgery.

Mrs Barn­well said: “Peo­ple en­joy the com­pany. It is nice to wake up on a Mon­day and think that you can go on one of these walks and go and have a chat with some­body.

“It is nice to all talk to each other and make new friends. Peo­ple are wel­come to choose from the dif­fer­ent walks on of­fer and do the walk that they feel they are most ca­pa­ble of.”

The walk­ers go around the vil­lage, Penn Street and Winch­more Hill. Re­fresh­ments are on of­fer at Holmer Green Bap­tist Church.

Mrs Barn­well added: “We have had a let­ter from one of our mem­bers telling us what a dif­fer­ence it has made to their life.”

The Bucks County Coun­cil ini­tia­tive has been run­ning for 12 years and in June, 50 Sim­ply Walk vol­un­teers gath­ered at Hugh­en­den Manor to mark the oc­ca­sion. There are more than 200 Sim­ply Walks vol­un­teers in the county lead­ing dif­fer­ent walks.

A new walk will start from Bea­cons­field Li­brary on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 4 at 10.15am. It will be a gen­tle walk around the town for 30 to 45 min­utes.

Call Fiona Broad­bent on 01494 475 367, email sim­ply­walks@buckscc. gov.uk or visit www. buckscc.gov.uk/ sim­ply­walk for more in­for­ma­tion.

Photo by Clive Tagg www.buyapho­totms.co.uk NL201410197

AN­NIVER­SARY: Holmer Green walk lead­ers

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