Burnham's walking group celebrates 20th anniversary

Simply Walk celebrates turning 20

A walking group celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 22 with a special walk around Burnham followed by tea and cake for past and present members.

Simply Walk Burnham, born out of a nationwide scheme called Walking for Health, was launched in 2002 with ‘the aim of encouraging people to get out and enjoy walking for health benefits.’

The volunteer-led walks, managed by the Burnham Health Promotion Trust (BHPT), occur several times a month and last between an hour to ninety minutes taking in various local routes from their starting points of either Burnham Park or St Peter’s Church.

Celebrating along with the Burnham group is a network of 49 other Buckinghamshire-based walking groups who together organise up to 72 walks a week across the county.

Over the past two decades Simply Walk Burnham has offered over 1600 walks of its own.

One of the county’s 237 volunteers, Shirley Shaw, a former BHPT manager, said:

“Walking is a great alternative to a more strenuous physical exercise. It’s something that everyone can do and most importantly – in a group setting – it counteracts loneliness.

“We make it extra sociable as well as there’s always someone who wants a cuppa afterwards and we often meet at the town hall or in the town.”

A team of volunteers ensures that the group walks safely and at a pace everyone can manage.

“We have something called ‘back markers’ who stay at the back and make sure that no one walks alone. They ‘take the pace’ of the slowest walker. It’s a way of keeping everyone together and involved,” Shirley explained.

For more information go to: www.bhpt.org.uk/simply-walk/ or phone the BHPT on 01628 661 441.

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