14 years of Abingdon Health Walks. The story of Viv Boorman, Voluntary Coordinator and the history behind the group. We thank Viv and her Leaders for volunteering their time weekly and providing such a positive activity here in Abingdon.
"When I retired from teaching in 2003 I wanted to help in our local community. I was really lucky; I read an article on Health Walks and their benefits. I love walking and the outdoors, so started the daunting task of recruiting volunteers to help me.
I used the gym at the Leisure centre where I started talking to any individual who enjoyed exercise and admitted to liking walking! I recruited them and we started one walk on a Wednesday morning from the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre on Audlett Drive.
Initially we had one led walk and only 3-4 walkers. Gradually we have grown and grown, so to date we now lead 8 different walks per week as follows:-
Monday and Wednesday mornings at 10.30 am. There are 3 walks a gentle, moderate and a brisk.
On Thursdays mornings we have a first steps walk that is based at Preston Road Community centre. This is 30-45 minutes in length and is the gentlest of our walks
In October 2017 we are starting a Friday morning moderate walk from the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre.
Since we started 14 years ago Abingdon Health Walks have grown from one weekly walk with 4 walkers, to 8 walks of varying speeds every week. A typical attendance on any single walk is 10-20 people.
We receive support from the Leisure centre but are not funded in any way. We believe this is our strength- no officialdom. We have around 300 regular walkers on our database. 75 walkers have undertaken training to become leaders or backmarkers.
These committed volunteers also organise coach trips, holidays (3 this year), a picnic, pub walks, evening pub walks and a Christmas party.
Coordinating this Scheme is the most fulfilling activity that I am involved in. The support of the leaders and the group is amazing. The walkers support of each other, whenever there is a need, gives me faith in the people of Abingdon and the surrounding area."
Abingdon Health Walks voluntary coordinator
For further information contact Viv on 01235 531 769 or via email