Walk & Talk grows from strength to strength

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Social Isolation & loneliness are increasingly affecting us both personally and in our communities. These issues can cause poor health and mental wellbeing and ultimately shorten lives, costing our health and social care millions. Off the back of the COVID pandemic, it became apparent that these issues had worsened within the Wyre Borough. In partnership with Wyre Council and the Tackling Inequalities fund Fleetwood Town Community Trust decided to launch a “Walk & Talk” group in a bid to combat issues of social isolation, physical inactivity, and mental health problems, which had become alarmingly apparent off the back of COVID19.

Participation was slow to begin with but by September/November 2021 things took off as the group continued to grow week on week hitting the near 30s on several occasions. Many participants who have attended the Walk & Talk sessions have been bereaved, experienced severe loneliness, as well as other health problems, all things which have impacted their overall physical and Mental health and wellbeing. 

Meet Sue, Trevor and May who all joined the group around October time. 

May first discovered the group having been referred by her local Social Prescribing network through the NHS. she stated “I have enjoyed the Walk & Talk for so many reasons, it is a fantastic idea which has helped me through the darkness of losing my darling husband, I’ve met so many lovely people who love to chat and laugh like myself but people who care and want to help each other, whether it be the chats on WhatsApp or the fresh air and sea views long may the Walk & Talks continue.”

Trevor & Sue moved to the Fylde Coast during lockdown having recently just retired and did not know a soul. They both stated that “we were hoping to meet different people and make new friends.” Since they both joined, they have not looked back since, when describing the impact that the group has had on them, Trevor mentioned “it has made me feel extremely welcome to the area, and to meet people who have experienced similar circumstances to me in life has been invaluable. This has made an incredibly positive impact on my health and wellbeing.” Sue also stated, “I feel much healthier overall and have made friends with lots of very nice people with a similar background as myself, I can walk down the High Street and say hello to plenty of people I know now!”

Both Trevor and Sue mentioned some of the things they enjoy the most about the walk they stated, “It is great to see the community spirit that has grown within the group since first joining, the fun, laughter, and of course the walk along the seafront – you sometimes forget how far you can go when you’re having a good conversation.”

Our Walk and Talk sessions take place every Wednesday & Friday meeting at 11am at Marine Hall. We also offer a Walk & Talk session on a Monday at 10.30 for veterans. It includes a stop off at Dolly’s café for tea/coffee and more chats, each member has the opportunity to join a WhatsApp group which enables participants to keep in touch with one another as well as referrals to other community events. Many participants will also meet up for walks throughout the week because of the social connections that have formed through our Walk & Talk sessions. 

Leading the group – it feels so rewarding to see just how much this group as grown and the positive outcomes that have stemmed from the weekly walk & Talks, it has given some people a lifeline when they were completely isolated beforehand. 

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.”

       

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