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Published: Wednesday, 20th May 2020

Walkers in Warwick district can now take part in the district’s first e-walk and virtual coffee group after a successful pilot from Clarendon Park Walkers and Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice.

Members of the newly christened ‘Clarendon Park E-Walkers’ head out on a solo walk in their local area from 11am every Thursday, the usual time that the Clarendon Park Walkers would meet. They then virtually meet in a WhatsApp group in the afternoon to chat over a cup of tea or coffee, maintaining one of the core goals of Walking for Health: reducing social isolation.

This new way of walking has been established amid the Coronavirus pandemic, with social distancing making it impossible for walking groups to meet in their normal way.

E-Walkers leader Mick Hurrell said: “We know how powerful walking is for personal, physical and mental health. However, so too is the community element that we've been able to re-ignite during the social isolation and distancing regulations.

“Our E-Walkers have found that the live WhatsApp chat after our solo walks are great for re-connecting with their fellow Clarendon Park Walkers group again – sharing ideas, photos, experiences and emotions over a cuppa during these challenging times for all of us.

“We've managed to re-establish a social thread that I believe is helping to support us all through these times and which will, I'm sure, bind us closer than ever when we're free to walk as a group again.”

Councillor Judy Falp, Portfolio Holder for Health & Community Protection, commented: “May is National Walking Month and this week also marks Mental Health Awareness Week, and in these challenging times it’s never been more important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing. A brisk walk in of the district’s many award-winning parks and gardens followed by a chat with your friends, family or neighbours - either virtually or at a safe distance - really can make all the difference.

“My thanks go to all the Walk Leaders that are finding unique ways of keeping their walkers healthy, motivated and engaged.”

All residents are encouraged to take part and can share their walks and engage with other walkers by joining the Walking for Health in Warwick District Facebook group.

Though all normal walks are currently suspended, information on the District’s walks and the latest updates can be found at www.warwickdc.gov.uk/walkingforhealth

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