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
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.
ANNIVERSARY: Holmer Green walk leaders