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Walking for Wellbeing Volunteer Launch

The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership is proud to announce a new Walking for Wellbeing project which will run for three years from March 2019 to April 2022. The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership has been awarded £81,000 from Sport England’s Tackling Inactivity and Disadvantage Fund to lead this project.

This pioneering project will aim to engage inactive people with severe and enduring mental health conditions from low socio-economic areas such as Littlemore, Barton, Blackbird Leys, Northfield Brook and Banbury. The project aims to encourage involvement in an accessible form of exercise and, in doing so, build confidence to embolden service users to take part in mainstream physical activity.

The Walking for Wellbeing Project builds on the increasing evidence that walking supports the mind as well as the body. Oxfordshire Mind’s CEO, Dan Knowles, recognizes the value in physical activity; “We all know how important it is for our wellbeing to look after our physical health. Even a fifteen minute walk can have a definite psychological benefits; building confidence, boosting energy, aiding concentration and reducing stress.”

The Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership are now on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to become involved in this exciting project as Wellbeing Walk Leaders. Walking groups will meet once a week at various mental health locations across the County, intending to reach people who struggle to access other physical activity groups.

Francesca Moll, Walking for Wellbeing Facilitator at Oxfordshire Mind, said:

“Volunteers will be the absolute lifeblood of this project so if you’re an enthusiastic, empathetic person who can communicate your passion for getting active, please get in touch. You don’t need to give much – even one or two hours a week. It’s a chance to make a concrete difference to people’s lives, get yourself fit, and most importantly have fun!

Volunteers will receive full training to lead short, group walks once a week, initially supported by the Walking for Wellbeing Project Facilitator. Volunteers will also assist the development of peer support throughout the group and provide listening support to service users.”

For a full volunteer role description and more information about how to get involved, or follow this link .  For more information contact: walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk.