By WALX Preston at
The Five Ways to Wellbeing (Connect. Be Active. Take Notice. Keep Learning. Give) are simple and proven actions that people can introduce to help themselves find balance, build resilience and boost mental health and wellbeing.
At Walx Preston we are always keen to encourage all aspects of the 5 Ways amongst our members for their own personal gain but also as an organisation and a Community in the support of others.
At our Christmas Walk held on the 12th December 2020 we had over 50 of our members in attendance and we took the opportunity whilst they were Being Active, Connecting and Taking Notice to both Learn something and Give back. We took a collection from all members and raised £250 which we decided to split evenly between two local charities that have supported us as a group and/or family members of our regular walkers.
Cuerden Valley Park is a registered charity established to maintain the Park and keep it open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the people of Chorley, Leyland, Bamber Bridge and further afield to enjoy. We regularly walk at CVP and therefore wanted to give back something to express our gratitude and thanks for the way they upkeep the Park which enhances our outdoor exercise experience.
St Catherine’s Hospice cares for patients and families across Chorley, Preston and South Ribble who are affected by life-shortening conditions like cancer, motor neurone disease and heart failure. We often walk from their grounds, particularly when circumstances allow us to end our walks at the Mill Cafe for a cuppa and cake or a meal.
Earlier in the year of 2020 when Tier restrictions were not at their highest we collaborated with Right At Home Preston supporting them with their Memory Walk in support of Alzheimer’s Society. It was excellent to see that they managed to raise £450 in spite of participation naturally being much lower than in other years owing to the whole Covid situation we found ourselves in. We also thank Sam and Diane from Progress Housing Group who willing provided us with refreshments from one of their independent living schemes close to Brickcroft Nature Reserve through which the Memory Walk had travelled.
It’s quite common these days for businesses and/or charities to curate or support Walking or Running events in order to draw attention to a particular health condition or their work supporting people dealing with such matters.
Sadly such mass participation events have not been permissible under the Covid and Lockdown situations we have been facing over the past 12 months. This is absolutely understandable but has definitely caused significant disruption to fundraising efforts and clearly hampered the fantastic work these businesses and charities engage in.
At Walx Preston we have the capability to support businesses and charities with both activation and engagement of their staff or supporters by taking away some of the organisation, management, motivation and education required around such events.
By way of an example, our regular members are now familiar with what we have termed the Walk of the Week. We inspire our members to follow a route that we have created using bespoke online mapping software and we provide the guidance, support and motivation around engaging with it. Next month I’ll talk you through the logistics of how you can still raise a lot of money with a mass participation event whilst in lockdown, i.e. participants walking safely alone or in pairs and not getting lost, or losing the motivation or confidence to actually participate and raise those vital funds when not at a “mass start” event.
Another example from this month is our members participation in the national Age UK Walk/Run Your Age challenge. We are encouraging and supporting our members locally here around the Preston area, but we have other Walx groups from across the country all participating with their membership base. Next month we’ll tell you about Norah who is 86 and already this month has walked over 60 miles on her way to walking her age in miles. It’s simply fascinating to be a part of everyone’s journey especially when we see and hear how “Alive” they look and feel from being active and connected to an open-minded and friendly Community. If you fancy donating a £1 or more then we would be grateful for your support. Click here for our Walx Preston fundraising page.
We would really like to express our thanks to our members for the great effort they have been putting in to emotionally, physically and mentally supporting each other throughout the whole of the 3 lockdowns and also being supportive of the above local charities.
Thank you !