Can you help us by becoming a Walking Friend for an older person?

Can you help us by becoming a Walking Friend for an older person?

Posted: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 13:28

Can you help us by becoming a Walking Friend for an older person?

in partnership with AgeUK Herefordshire & Worcestershire, we are delighted to be starting a new service which pairs local volunteers with people who would like to get out and about in their local community; this is Walking Friends.

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, many of us have been going out far less often than before, leading to many older people feeling more isolated and lonelier. We're working to recruit and train volunteers who can walk with someone, enjoy a friendly chat, and help them enjoy the many benefits of fresh air and exercise.

"We are really looking forward to delivering this much needed service throughout Herefordshire and Worcestershire" says Caroline Savage, Social inclusion & wellbeing manager for Age UK H&W. Sadly, Age UK estimate 1.9 million older people often feel ignored or invisible. We hope that through this service we can combine combating loneliness with keeping older people active and healthy."

"We're looking to recruit people willing to accompany an older person on a walk and give them a bit of encouragement and friendly support. A lot of people have experienced bereavement or illness in the last year or so or are simply cautious about going out again. Walking has been proved to be the safest activity for older people to improve their health. The help of a volunteer will overcome barriers that might prevent them staying active in later life. "

Regular exercise is even more important as we age, to look after our mental and physical health and wellbeing. Sport England report that 42% of people aged over 55 are inactive, however walking is a great way to become or remain active as we get mature.

Tom Howard, Active HW, says "We want as many people as possible to be able to get out, get some fresh air and enjoy a nice walk, but we know not everyone has the confidence to do so and would really benefit from a Walking Friend. We need as many volunteers as possible to help us support as many older adults as we can. I really want to encourage everyone who can spare just a little bit of time during their week and feels able to support another person go for a short walk, to volunteer and help us prove that physical activity isn't just something for younger people. If you are a dog owner or someone who already walks regularly why not consider being a Walking Friend? Your contribution could make all the difference to the life of an older person."

All volunteers will be walking in their local area and will receive training from Age UK H&W before they start. Get in touch with by calling 0800 008 6077, email volunteering@ageukhw.org.uk or fill in the volunteer application form here

About Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire are a local independent charity, affiliated to the national Age UK brand partnership. We highlight issues facing older people; act as a voice for them and promote a positive attitude towards ageing. We also provide a range of direct support services and training to raise standards of care in our local communities across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Tags: Active, Active Ageing, Active HW, Activity, Age UK, Isolation, Loneliness, Volunteer, Volunteering opportunity, Walk, Walking, Walking Friends, adults, ageing