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Free walk leader course for Weymouth and Portland

Could you be a walk leader? A free one-day course will be on offer to train people to become volunteer walk leaders in Weymouth and Portland.

If you would like to help others in your community stay fit and active please come along. Please let us know beforehand if you would like to attend.

We are offering two dates for training, either Wednesday 1 November or Friday 10 November at the council offices in Commercial Road, Weymouth. Registration starts at 9.30am and the course runs from 10am to 3.30pm.

Cllr Christine James, Social Inclusion Briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “Becoming a walk leader is a fun way to help others in your community live longer, healthier lives. If you’d like to help others and also spend more time outdoors please sign up for the training! I put this forward as an idea at one of the locality meetings as I wanted to do something to get residents up and active. It is a free and relatively easy way to start on a health kick and I hope people will sign up."

Cllr Alison Reed, who represents Weymouth & Portland Borough Council on the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “I hope people will take up this exciting opportunity to train to become walk leaders.

“This is a wonderful way of helping others in your community of all ages and abilities to start to exercise. Walking is an excellent way to begin the journey to a healthier lifestyle.”

It is hoped that a series of regular, short, free and fun walks will be created. Routes will cater for different ages and levels of ability. The aim is to promote the walks through GP surgeries, community and children’s centres, schools and workplaces.

If you would like to train to be a walk leader, please register by emailing sdavies@dorset.gov.uk or phone Sarah Davies, Sports Development Officer, on 01305 25222 for more details.

This initiative is part of ‘Walking for Health’, England’s largest network of health walks. More information is available online at walkingforhealth.org.uk

Tempted to become a walk leader? Here are five reasons you should be!

1/ Volunteering makes us happier, according to researchers at the London School of Economics

2/ Walk leaders get to explore the great outdoors

3/ Leading walks is a great chance to meet new people

4/ Walking is great for your physical and mental health

5/ The course is free.

More info:

Weymouth and Portland

Invitation to Volunteer Walk Leader Training

1 Day training

Dates:   Wednesday 1st November or Friday 10th November 2017  

Timings: 9.30-9.45: arrival and registration 

10.00: course starts

15.30: finish

Venue Information: Council Chamber, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, Commercial Road, Weymouth, DT48NG.

What is Volunteer Walk Leader training?

The Volunteer Walk Leader course is a free one-day course for anyone who would like to lead walks for the Weymouth and Portland Walking for Health scheme. This can include front, middle or back markers.

Walking for Health is part of England’s largest network of health walk schemes, helping all kinds of people to lead a more active lifestyle.  Our walks are led by friendly, knowledgeable people, specially trained for the job.  Along with fellow walkers, our walk leaders provide all the advice and encouragement a new walker needs to build fitness at a pace that’s right for them.  In just a short time, a small amount of regular exercise can significantly improve a person’s health, well-being and confidence.  And from what our walkers tell us, there’s plenty of laughter to be heard on our walks. 

By the end of the course you will:

  • Understand what Walking for health is about
  • Understand the benefits of walking and physical activity
  • Get to know the role of a walk leader
  • Information on mental health and learning disabilities
  • Have access to follow-up support and resources to help people make the most of your skills, including a Volunteer Walk Leader manual
  • Be confident to lead a health walk in due course (following the guidance that goes with the progress card)
  • Have met and shared best practice with other walk leaders 

What to bring on the day 

Suitable clothing and footwear – you will be taking part in a short demonstration health walk.

Tea and Coffee refreshments are available throughout the day but please bring some lunch with you.

A pen and some note paper.

What is expected of you after the training day?

  1. When you have completed the walk leader training day your cascade trainer will sign and date your progress card to show that you have attended the training session. They will also need to sign off the following stages of your progress card.
  2. You will then observe 1-2 health walks and take note of how the existing walk leaders run them.
  3. The final stage is to lead your own walk. 
  4. When you have completed these stages, and your progress card has been fully signed off, you will be a fully qualified walk leader and will receive your certificate from your coordinator.

If you have any learning or access needs please let us know in advance of the training day. If for any reason you can no longer attend please notify us at least 48 hours before the training session. 

I look forward to meeting you in November!

Best wishes,

Sarah Davies 

Volunteer Cascade Trainer – Walking for Health

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