Step Out Sheffield re-launches free health walks

Taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle were participants in the re-launch of a city-wide initiative this week.

Step Out Sheffield welcomed volunteers and dignitaries as it began a new series of walks for all.

The voluntary organisation is a self-managed scheme delivering 24 health walks each week across the city, marshalled by 135 trained leaders and offering social interaction for all walking abilities, for many local communities.

A spokesman said: “Back in March, with Government and council job and monetary cutbacks, we lost our council-employed co-ordinator who established the first walk back in 1999, and indeed our funding. “However some of us pooled our skills and proposed a plan of action in order to continue to run the scheme ourselves, something that we did not want to let go to waste as we are now the largest self-managed scheme in the UK.

“We operate under the national umbrella ‘Walking for Health’ who in turn are backed by the Ramblers and Macmillan, and all of our walks are accredited which means, very importantly, that health professionals can refer their patients to us with confidence.”

The relaunch took place at Endcliffe Park on Monday and involved a two and a half mile route taking in the Botanical Gardens and Devonshire Green.

The spokesman added: “Our walks are free, fun, friendly and run every week (including school holidays) – perfect to help you get active and meet new people. If you’d like to take part, all you have to do is come along to the start point of one of our walks.”