Step forward as a walk leader

Derbyshire Dales District Council’s free health walks are led by volunteer walk leaders who are trained and looked after by the council’s Health Walks Coordinator Helen Milton.

After nearly two years of living with Covid and being restricted in so many ways, walking remains one of the safest group activities, with obvious benefits for physical and mental health, and Helen is appealing for new leaders to step forward.

She said: “Several hundred people enjoy our walks every month across the Dales. We haven’t been able to train any new leaders since March last year and are in desperate need in all areas, particularly Bakewell, Wirksworth, Matlock, Tideswell and Ashbourne.

“There are several walk leaders on each walk so there is scope for being flexible with your time – and not everyone has to lead from the front. We have need for all types of people.

“It is widely recognised that there are five ways to greatly improve your wellbeing. Volunteering as a walk leader firmly ticks all of them – so you wouldn’t just be doing it for others – you’d be helping yourself.

“So please, give (your time), connect (with others), be active, learn new skills and take notice (of your surroundings).”

Anyone interested in training as a walk leader can contact Helen by email at helen.milton@derbyshiredales.gov.uk or phone 01629 761194 for a chat and more information.