HeartSmart Walks celebrate 15 years in Chichester District

Over the past 15 years, HeartSmart walkers across Chichester District have notched up hundreds of miles between them and enjoyed many hours getting to know our district and beyond.

Organised by the Chichester Wellbeing Team and a dedicated group of Volunteer Walk Leaders, Heartsmart Walks are free walks ranging from one and a half to six miles in various locations across the district and further afield.

As well as helping people to get outdoors and discover more of the local area, the walks are also good for people not sure where to go or for those nervous about being out and about on their own. Each route offers people the opportunity to walk at their own pace, chat with others, meet new people and enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Keen Volunteer Walk Leader, Gerald Gresham-Cooke, who has been involved with the scheme since the walks first launched, says: "I know how much our walks are appreciated by everybody who comes. I'm always amazed at how many turn up on an early Monday morning, happy to come for a walk. It gives me so much pleasure as leader. People chat and make new friends, as well as see sights of West Sussex which they would never discover for themselves."

Anne Adamson, another original Volunteer Walk Leader, says: "After glorious walks in some golden weather towards the end of last year, a dear regular walker said to me: "These walks make Monday for me, I can't wait," which is so wonderful to hear."

The walks are good for providing a wellbeing boost and keeping people active and healthy. They are accredited by Walking for Health, a joint project led by The Ramblers Association and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Councillor Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: "Walking is good for both mind and body and people really enjoy the HeartSmart walks. Walking has a wealth of benefits and so if you fancy a change of scenery, meeting new people and seeing more of the district, then come along.

"With spring just arriving, now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting out and about. There are between three and eight walks a week to suit a range of abilities, the routes cover a wide variety of locations and new walkers are welcomed throughout the year."

Residents who are interested in finding out more about the walks or becoming a volunteer walk leader can find out more by calling 01243 521041 or emailing info@chichesterwellbeing.org.uk

You can find the latest walks programme

Chichester Wellbeing also runs a wide range of other programmes and workshops including Weightloss Workshops, First Steps to Fitness, Falls Prevention and Cook and Eat courses.

Date of release: 6 April 2017

Reference: 3711