Councillor puts best foot forward on Sandwell Stride to mark investment in healthy outdoor activity
Published 6th September 2021
Sandwell Council has announced it will be investing £140k over the next two years to expand the range of healthy activities being provided in our local parks and green spaces.
Activities may include wellbeing walks, Nordic walking and nature trails, as well as cycle rides, tai chi, yoga, walking football and tennis. There will be a focus on reducing social isolation as well as ensuring there are activities for everyone, including those living with disabilities or poor mental health.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Older People recently joined members of the community in a Sandwell Stride at Warrens Hall Nature Reserve in Rowley Regis.
Sandwell Stride is open to all adult residents, is free and uses some of Sandwell’s great walking routes taking in parks, canals and urban areas. Walking offers physical, mental, social and emotional benefits and can improve fitness levels, mental health and social interaction.
Councillor Hartwell said: “It was wonderful to join this friendly group walking through this beautiful nature reserve. After the last 18 months it’s a great opportunity to get out and meet new people safely and to visit new and perhaps undiscovered gems across Sandwell. That’s why we have announced investment in similar activities throughout the borough to get people actively using our green spaces. I would encourage anyone interested in improving their physical and mental health to find out more and join in.”
Dave, who joined his first Sandwell Stride over the summer, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed it, a lovely group to chat with and great exercise in the fresh air.”
The Sandwell Stride programme, part of the national Ramblers Wellbeing Walks scheme, has been running for almost 20 years and offers all adults in Sandwell nine short weekly walks taking a maximum of 90 minutes. All walks are led by trained volunteers who are all Sandwell residents and passionate advocates of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and their local area so a friendly welcome and like-minded people to walk with is guaranteed.
To find out where your nearest walk is please click here
In addition to the Sandwell Stride walks, the council has also invested around £5k invested in the Go Jauntly Sandwell walking app. This includes digital routes showcasing all of the Sandwell Stride walks and has the capability for any resident who knows a good route to upload it themselves for others to enjoy.
Photo caption: (l-r) Walk leader Lorraine, Cllr Hartwell and some of the Sandwell Striders.