For the last five years every week John Grantham has been leading an hour long "Healthy Walk" around town - every Wednesday at 10am from the Town Hall steps come rain come shine. The walk manages to kill two birds with one stone. Gives the heart of some older folk a bit of useful exercise and allows everyone to benefit from John's encyclopaedic knowledge of the town. They have proved very popular. But now it seems that our District Council are getting in on the act. Perhaps an informal group of friendly people wandering along muddy paths doesn't have quite the degree of political correctness required in these matters. For example, are the routes planned, have they been risk-assessed, is there proper health advice available Can we be sure nobody is left behind Read the WODC Press Release and wonder.
WALK THIS WAY TO BETTER HEALTH
Chipping Norton Health Walks launch Thursday Jan 20th
People living in Chipping Norton will soon be able to walk their way to a healthier lifestyle, thanks to a scheme aimed at encouraging people to take more exercise. The Health Walks initiative is being launched on Thursday 20th January from the Health Bus in Market Square, Chipping Norton, from 10am- 4pm.There will be a range of health information and advice, a taster Health Walk and a competition. Health Walks are free of charge and are suitable for all ages and abilities - they are a great first step in starting to improve your health by increasing your physical activity levels. Each walk is led by two trained walk leaders who take a group of participants along planned routes which have been risk assessed. With Health Walks, people can walk at their own pace, but because they are supported and encouraged by the volunteer leaders, no one is left behind. The walks often end at a caf�, where people can choose to get together afterwards and socialise. The aim is not to get round quickest or to do a bit of sightseeing, but to take part and be involved in regular activity and gradually build up strength, fitness and social confidence. The launch event will attract interest from people wanting to get �out and about� in their local area or those who would like to volunteer their services as walk leaders. Health Walks are being developed by Cherwell Vale PCT in partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council Social & Health Care and Age Concern Oxfordshire.
At the risk of being called negative once again by Councillor Howes Chippingnorton.net would like to know how much this all costs and why the District's money is being spent on something already catered for when other services (like the Visitor Information Centre) have recently been closed down and why the PCT's money is being spent when it keeps telling us that it hasn't got any for things like hospital beds. Makes no sense. John Grantham seems pretty relaxed about the new competition. He has been told the WODC walks will be for very short distances, and for people to get confidence to walk for health. Perhaps the WODC will refer people on to him when they are able to manage longer distances.
As it was, there were no takers on Thursday. Mind you it was an arctic day with a fierce Chippy wind. Difficult to imagine anyone wanting a walk - healthy or not. The midday walk was cancelled - there were no walkers. And the only people signed up all morning were two potential walk leaders. This could turn out to be another one of those "All Chiefs No Indians" projects. I would wait for Spring if I was them.