New project aims to improve older people’s health by getting them out and about

Malcolm Fallow, chief executive of East Durham Trust.
Malcolm Fallow, chief executive of East Durham Trust.

A new project is being launched, aimed at getting people out and about as they face later life.

East Durham Trust will host the “Walk Together” programme that will see more than 40 walks staged across the district, with over 300 people taking part.

The project is funded by County Durham Community Foundation as part of its Enriching Later Life initiative, and is aimed at promoting physical activity and tackling social isolation.

Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “Research shows that as people approach later life, their social networks and contact with others reduces.

“Ultimately this can lead to issues around loneliness and affect mental wellbeing.

“This project is looking to simply give people the opportunity to mix, whilst getting a degree of physical exercise at the same time.”

The walks will be aimed at people aged over 50, and will start and finish at local community venues – always ending with a cup of tea!

Margaret Vaughan, from the County Durham Community Foundation, said: “As most people are aware, County Durham has an ageing population.

“It is great to be in a position to support an initiative that seeks to provide a vital social connection for people.”

The project will use local volunteers as walk leaders and the official launch is being staged on Friday, June 1, which is the opening day of Volunteers Week – a national celebration of volunteering and what it brings to 
society.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project should ring the project co-ordinator Alison Pattison on 0191 569 3511.