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‘WYTHALL WALKING FRIENDS’ TACKLES ISOLATION WITH UNIQUE INITIATIVE

Home / News & Opportunities

Date: 24/05/2018

A unique initiative has launched in Wythall, Birmingham which aims to tackle social isolation amongst the over 65s through the delivery of a series of community led walks. ‘Wythall Walking Friends’ will see a group of staff volunteers from Phoenix Group, trained and inspired by the charity Living Streets to run a series of led walks across the summer, starting this May to coincide with Living Streets’ National Walking Month.

 

Current figures suggest there are 10.8 million over 65’s in the UK, 3.8 million of whom live alone. One million older people say they always, or often, feel lonely, and 17% see their family, friends or neighbours less than weekly. The ‘walking friends’ concept builds on the idea that establishing community programmes based around the simple act of going for a local walk with a companion could help to tackle loneliness. Phoenix Group’s corporate responsibility strategy is all about wellbeing, promoting the importance of physical, mental and financial matters. This new walking initiative touches on many of these points, by helping to reduce isolation in the local community, encouraging new friendships, increasing exercise and appreciating and discovering natural points of interest, thus helping to reduce the risk of depression and dementia. The project also involves Wythall Parish Council, the community dementia café and other local businesses to help promote the launch.

Lucy Symonds, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Phoenix

 

 

said "This is an exciting new wellbeing project for the Group. It combines staff volunteering, community interaction, improved wellbeing and an increased understanding about the ageing population and their day-to-day needs. I very much look forward to joining one of the walks over the coming months."

Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets

 

 

said "Loneliness is one of the big social challenges of our age. Wythall Walking Friends is a hugely exciting project to see how coming out walking regularly can be an antidote to isolation. We are looking forward to working with Phoenix Group and seeing some fantastic outcomes for the local community and Phoenix staff."

To find out more about how you can join a walk in the Wythall area, please call 0203 567 9154 or email wythallwalkingfriends@thephoenixgroup.com, or visit www.thephoenixgroup.com/wythallwalkingfriends

#wythallwalkingfriends

Walks are open to all abilities and carers are also welcome. Dogs need to be kept on leads. Some of our routes are accessible for wheelchair users.