By WALX Preston at
At Walx Preston we are determined to support and encourage people in our local area to stay active through walking in order to boost their immune system, keep themselves in physically good shape and to bolster their mood and mental wellbeing.
Now in Lockdown 3 the challenge remains the same – to find and impress on anyone and everyone that we continue to provide motivation, inspiration, ideas and accessibility to safe, planned, risk assessed and guided walks at a variety of locations (albeit offering only 121s at the present time during Tier 4 restrictions) across Preston, South Ribble and Chorley areas.
According to Government guidelines “you should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. Exercise includes but is not limited to running, cycling, walking, and swimming.”
A key foundational component that underpins the thriving Walx Preston community is the social interaction between the members. We naturally support and facilitate this with our group walks on which we remain 2 metres apart and ensure that leaders are aware of ‘droplet spread’ when positioning people.
Outside of Tier 4 we are insured for a group size of up to 30 but conduct rigorous risk assessments to ascertain a safe group size, which we manage with our team of volunteer Walx Guides and Walx Hosts where necessary.
However, under Tier 4, whilst we cannot provide group walks we do provide a lot of interaction between members both via our Virtual Walx platform, our WhatsApp groups, our Free Facebook group 1000 Friends and other means such as Strava and the World Walking app.
Before any session all participants MUST register and complete on an online health screening which includes COVID 19 questions and is updated EVERY TIME they book a session.
As we have the details we can work with NHS track and Trace to immediately identify who has walked with anyone who may subsequently show symptoms.
All leaders carry spare masks and hand sanitisers. Participants can use facemasks in meeting areas or places distancing is difficult, however, we do not advise masks to be worn during exercise in accordance with WHO guidelines.
All participants are advised to carry hand sanitiser and use it after touching any gates or railings etc. whilst out walking, although leaders generally manage these.
All routes are risk assessed to avoid busy areas, contact with other members of the public/exercisers and ‘pinch points where distancing is not possible. As mentioned above all routes and locations are risk assessed in accordance with safe group size.
Most regular users use their own poles or equipment and where equipment is used for TUITION purposes, it is thoroughly cleaned and if necessary put into quarantine for 72 hours. We still have significant interest in our Power of Poles courses even though we are delivering them on a 121 basis at present.
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to get involved with our group please call Matt on 07530 813225.