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6th June 2022

Walk for compassion and wellbeing

A new monthly Compassionate Walk around Highwoods Country Park, Colchester, is giving the community an opportunity to enjoy exercise and socialise in a safe space.

Led by the Community360 Walk Motivator project in partnership with St Helena hospice, Compassionate Walks are ideal for people who are facing personal loss, bereavement, or their own or a loved one’s health crisis; or if they would like to meet some new people; or would like support to start walking to help keep fit.

One of the walkers was Graham Miller, who knows how important it is offer support for people at times of health crisis and personal loss. Graham is a volunteer and ambassador with St Helena and had been for several years before his mum Celia started receiving hospice in the home support. He said:

“Keeping active during an emotional time while Mum was ill and following mum’s death, benefitted my wellbeing greatly, and I think initiatives like Compassionate Walks are an ideal opportunity for people who are looking for friendly and likeminded additional support when they are having a tough time.”

Compassionate Walks will take place on the first Thursday of every month from 7pm starting and finishing at St Helena Hospice’s car park, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester CO4 9JU. Upcoming walks: Thursday 9th June, Thursday 7th July, Thursday 4th August – no need to book, just turn up.

It is one of several in the Colchester area led by Walk Motivator Shawn Leek, who will be on hand to support all walkers. Shawn said: 

“Walking is a great way of helping your physical and mental wellbeing but most of all you get to meet some wonderful people and enjoy some stunning scenery around Highwoods Country Park, and often people are amazed how far they have walked because they enjoyed the company and their surroundings.”

Greg Cooper, head of partnerships at St Helena, added: 

“This new walk is an exciting and important step towards a Compassionate Community approach to end of life care and bereavement support in north east Essex, where the community is encouraged to get involved and support each other during times of health crisis and personal crisis. 

“We hope that this will lead to more compassionate walks and we encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a walk leader to get in touch.”

Compassionate Communities is a community network for individuals, organisations, groups, schools, healthcare services, as well as service users and carers to come together to promote and support kindness, compassion and a collaborative approach to caring for one another in times of health crisis and personal loss.

Visit www.sthelena.org.uk/compassionate-walks for more details. To find out about becoming a Walk Motivator visit www.community360.org.uk/walk-motivator-training

 

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