Summer walks in Hartlepool to help combat mental health stigmas

Two Hartlepool friends have organised a series of wellness walks across the region to help people re-connect with nature.

By Madeleine Raine
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 4:54 am

Natalie Frankland, 34, and Rachael Liddle, 42, set up Wellness Walks with a New Perspective in January 2022 after meeting through their local outdoor swimming group, The Seaton Carew Brass Monkey Swimmers, in August 2021.

The pair have both completed wellness walk leader training and also intend to complete mountain leader training in the future.

Natalie, who worked in education, said: “We as a team understand and have encountered periods of time where our own mental and physical health has been tested.

Wellness Walks with a New Perspective on one of their longer walks in the Lake District, Stonethwaite and Langstrath Valley, on May 4, 2022.

"We have encountered loneliness, not having a direction and feeling lost.

"We wanted to give back and help others understand they are not alone.”

She later added: "Being in nature, or even just observing it, helps you connect to the world around you.”

There are walks for all abilities including accessibility and child-friendly routes. Dogs are also welcome.

Wellness Walks with a New Perspective at Ashgill Falls, Wild Swimming and Waterfall Walk, on May 18, 2022.

Natalie said: “I am dedicated to helping build a happier and healthier environment, where mental health can be discussed as openly and as confidently as physical health.

"My aim is to reduce stigma, raise awareness of mental health and how nature can help, work towards suicide prevention and help bust any myths around mental health.”

Wellness Walks schedule

Monday is a walk in Hartlepool from 9am-11am. It is usually two to five miles long.

Wellness Walks with a New Perspective at Hawthrone Dene Nature Reserve, on July 13, 2022.

Tuesday is a walk at Seaton Carew at 6pm, meeting at the Sandy carpark. Two sessions are run, one which is approximately 4.5 miles long and another which is about 1.5 miles.

Wednesday is a hiking day (with locations announced on their Facebook group) between 9am - 3pm.

Thursday is a walk at the Headland at 6pm, meeting at the Heugh Gun Battery. Two sessions are run, one which is approximately 3 miles long and another which is about 1 mile.

Friday is another walk in Hartlepool from 9am-11am. It is usually between two - five miles long.

During the school holidays, Half Term Hikes are run, offering child friendly routes for the whole family to enjoy.

Details can be found on their Facebook page.

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