Walking Grant funding: Covid 19 success stories #4 Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre
This is the fourth in a series of blogs looking at how voluntary and community organisations helped with funding from GM Walking Grants, have adapted to help their community during Covid 19.
Context / overview of what you do:
We support unpaid carers in the Wigan borough by providing Carers Assessments, 1-1 welfare and befriending calls, free training activities and host social groups at our centre based in Hindley, which includes coffee mornings, carers friendship group and men’s group.
Why you applied for the grant/what are you wanting to do this approach?
We applied for this grant as we wanted to encourage carers to get out and about with the person that they care for or to have a break from their caring role and meet others after a really difficult time during the pandemic. We wanted to include a small social group at the end of each walk which involved having a hot or a cold drink and a snack, which some of the funding paid for. They were all given a pedometer with GMVCO logo on, to increase their motivation to walk more and they enjoyed having them on the walks!
Who did you hope to engage with?
Unpaid carers who were wanting to get more active but unsure of where to start, aimed at those that were looking for social contact and suffering from low mental health due to being isolated at home.
How the approach has been adapted?
We have followed government guidelines on social distancing, promoting hand hygiene and limited the groups to 6 carers per walk.
Any examples of how it’s working so far?
Since starting the first walks in July, carers have been requesting that we organise more walks in different parts of the borough. At the time of writing we are due to do a second set of walks at the end of August and have more walks scheduled for September onwards.
Quotes from users / walkers?
“it gives us a chance to explore new walks where we live. I have enjoyed it as have never done this before thank you so much”
“Really enjoyed the walk and meeting new people. Lived in Wigan all my life and didn’t know the place existed!”
“a lovely escape”
“given me more confidence. Thoroughly enjoyed good to meet up with people from the centre. I do walk every day please repeat”
“I didn’t think I would come back for another walk”
The walks were supported by our volunteers and staff and they all really enjoyed getting out as much as the carers did and we would like to thank GM Walking & GMVCO again for helping to fund the walks and for making such a positive difference to carers lives!