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We meet the leader and participants of the Winchester city centre Wellbeing Walk

Wellbeing Walks take place across the district and are a great way to get out and about safely in the fresh air whilst also meeting friendly faces. We popped along to meet some members of the Wednesday walk which gathers outside The Nutshell in Kings Walk and is led by local GP Niki Wright.

Niki, who has been involved with the walks since 2009, said: “I found that I was always telling patients to walk more so when I heard about Walking for Health, I got in touch and told them that I was interested. The pandemic was difficult as we had to stop for a while and numbers really dropped but they have picked up again now – we had 18 people at our Christmas walk and at the lunch afterwards. We vary the route and we walk at the pace of our participants, and some of the group go for a coffee after the walks too.

“We are lucky in Winchester to have nice places to walk to. It’s become a wonderful, friendly community of people and you can walk and talk, or just walk with some company if you’d rather be silent.”

Jenny, who was trying the walk for the first time on this occasion, said: “I used to be in the Ramblers, but I had to leave because of some back problems. My physio suggested that I should start walking again and I am looking forward to it as I think that getting out in fresh air is so good for you. It stops you worrying about things so much as you just enjoy the nature and sights along the way.”   

Sarah, who has lived in Winchester since 1986, added: “I can be quite nervous as I often find it difficult with crowds of adults but I really enjoy the walks as it’s nice to be led. Niki is my GP and she’s a wonderful leader. I have found that walking really helps me mentally.”  

Maria moved to Winchester 18 months ago from South Shields. She said: “At first, I found life difficult as I had left behind my garden and my friends. My daughter-in-law Rachel suggested that I join the walk and it has been wonderful. I have been diagnosed with dementia and I love this walk. I really enjoy our coffee afterwards too.”  

We work with Community First on our Wellbeing Walks, which take place in the city centre, Bishop’s Waltham, Whiteley, Weeke and Colden Common. The full walk schedule can be found here

Our walks rely on fantastic support from our volunteer walk leaders, and we’re always searching for more people to join the team. If you would like more information please email Calum:

Thank you to the walk participants for their help and welcome.

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