Following Monday evening’s announcement by the Government to escalate measures that reduce social contact, it is with regret that we need to cancel the GM Walking Festival scheduled for May 2020. I’m sure you will appreciate that group walks cannot be promoted, and many local authorities have cancelled their led walk programme until further notice, and that population health is the priority.
The GM Walking Festival steering group, the Walking Voice and GM Walking team are working on alternative ways that we can support people to Walk this May. We understand that social distancing can help slow the spread of this virus and that this is vital to managing Coronavirus and minimising the risk to the health of the population. We also know, that as people reduce the amount of social contact they have, that getting outside for a walk and some fresh air will be vital to support the mental and physical health of those that are well. We are developing an approach to provide clear messages around this.
We hope to develop ideas where people can share the difference that walking has made to their wellbeing at a time of increased isolation. That could be through the many local community support networks being set up, through finding some greenspace nearby or admiring the flowers in the garden. We will be posting on our website and on social media over the coming weeks as the situation with the CV-19 evolves and Government advice develops.
Please keep an eye on our GM Walking website, and @GMWalks over the coming weeks, and get involved where you can.
Further communication will follow as soon as we know more.
The steering group will discuss plans for a Festival later in the year, or determine a different course of action as required. We will be back in touch with you all in due course.
We’re really sorry for the cancellation after so much planning has taken place. This is extremely disappointing for us all.
If you are feeling well and can get out, you may be able to incorporate walking into your day, to help or inspire your local community during the COVID 19 outbreak.
It’s not all about muddy boots and long hikes. It’s about physical and mental heath and wellbeing. Just getting out for half an hour in the fresh air can remind you how joyful walking is.
For the selfie takers, how about an alternative selfie tour of places on your doorstep? Post them online for your friends to guess the location
Could you take a bin bag and do a litter-picking walk?
Could you offer to walk someone’s dog, if they are unable to leave their home?
Or walk to your local shops to pick up their shopping?
Could you showcase a walk route on our website which highlights your local points of interest or scenic spots?
What matters is that if they are feeling well and are able, everyone still has the opportunity to have fun as they move and walk – realising the many health and wellbeing benefits of being more physically active.