Walk­ing group step out to mark birth­day

Middleton Guardian - - GCSE RESULTS - HE­LEN JOHN­SON

MEM­BERS of the Light­house Project’s Best Foot For­ward walk­ing group have cel­e­brated their first birth­day

The group’s first walk was from the Light­house’s for­mer base at Cromer Mill and it took in parts of Boar­shaw and the Rochdale Canal.

Since then walk­ers have fol­lowed routes through Hop­wood woods, Chad­der­ton Park and Boar­shaw Clough.

When the Light­house Project moved to Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre in Jan­uary it meant new routes had to be de­vel­oped and these now in­clude Alkring­ton Woods, Wince Brook and even a her­itage walk around the cen­tre of Mid­dle­ton.

On a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions the group has caught lo­cal buses and ven­tured as far as Heaton Park for a pic­nic and Hop­wood, in or­der to of­fer a va­ri­ety of scenery and walk­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ca­role Sharples, vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor, said: “Each week we at­tract a ‘hard core’ of walk­ers, all of whom have been with us from the start.

“All the walks are led by trained vol­un­teers, Mar­garet, Ann, Gail and our lat­est re­cruit Richard, who was in­spired to be­come a walk leader af­ter at­tend­ing one of the group walks.

“Vol­un­teers plan and as­sess each route be­fore­hand and af­ter the walks we re­turn to base at the Light­house for a drink, sand­wich, fruit and cake laid on by Carol from the Cafe bar.

“There is also op­por- tu­nity to have a chat with friends and to round off pro­ceed­ings the Light­house quiz mas­ter Dave Melia, vol­un­teer-comestaff mem­ber, puts on a top­i­cal quiz.”

The aim of the group is to pro­vide weekly ac­ces- sible lo­cal walks which are in­ter­est­ing and fun to do, as well as of­fer­ing a gen­tle way to im­prove health, make friends and im­prove well­be­ing in con­junc­tion with the bor­ough­wide Walk Talk scheme. Ev­ery­one is wel­come to come and join in, to be gen­tly chal­lenged both phys­i­cally and men­tally. The group are cur­rently ex­plor­ing op­tions to de­velop a wheelcha i r- f r i e n d l y route in the next few weeks.

Con­tact Ca­role Sharples at the Light­house Project on O161 643 1163 or visit in­spiremid­dle­ton.org.uk for de­tails. The Light­house Project is open to any­one Mon­day to Fri­day be­tween 9:30am and 4:30pm.

The Light­house Project cel­e­brates the first birth­day of its ‘Best Foot For­ward’ group. Pic­tured are, from left, Dave Melia, Cath Stott, Ca­role Sharples, Pam Semp, and artist Donald Wat­son.

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