Leading the way towards a healthier community

Anyone keen on walking and who wants to help their community is invited to train as a Walk It leader in Melrose tomorrow.

Walk It groups are aimed at people wanting to get more active, but are not sure where to start.

And there are now 22 groups in the region, three new ones being set up this year so far.

Walk It organiser and trainer Denise Carmichael said: “We’ve surveyed Walk It and the wellbeing benefits and social interaction of the group comes back as being the reason why people enjoy it – it’s almost like hiding the health benefits.”

Groups do short low-level walks for an hour at the pace of the slowest walker.

Tomorrow’s free walk leader training at the Corn Exchange is to give volunteers the skills and confidence to lead safe, short health walks, said Denise.

The Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders project aims to help people become more physically active and trainees will learn the benefits of regular walking, to organise and lead a walk, offer advice on walk intensity, frequency, posture and clothing and recognise potential safety hazards.

Concerning the training, Denise said: “It’s not difficult, there’s no exam, it’s relaxed informal training. Most people enjoy it and go on to become volunteers.

“The commitment is up to the individual, ranging from leading a walk every week to helping with occasional projects.

“The courses are aimed at anybody who has an interest in walking and who wants to be involved in volunteering for the benefit of the general community’s health,” she said.

For more information and to book, contact Denise on 01835 824000 or e-mail denise.carmichael@scotborders.gov.uk