Warwickshire Vision Walks

By Col Stocker

We know that being able to spend time outside is important for health and well being, something that should be totally inclusive for all. But for some accessing outdoors and nature provides far more challenges, feeling a lot harder and even daunting.

Well a new walking club was recently set up in Warwick for visually impaired people to meet and walk, supported with staff and volunteers to provide sight guiding and assist guide dog users. It’s a fantastic way to help and support people getting out and giving people that confidence and opportunity.

Louise from Warwickshire Vision applied to the Alpkit Foundation for support towards the running of this new group and let us know a bit more about this project.

“Getting to go outside and meet people was something of a blessing after all the time in lockdown. So we took full advantage of being able to meet in groups (and of the nice weather!) and created a new walking group made specifically for people living with sight loss"

"COVID 19 imprisoned many of our service users and forced them into isolation. We have created this club as a result of feedback from service users. Coming together weekly provides company and conversation, unites communities, broadens horizons, allows for exploration and appreciation of the natural world and ultimately, improves their physical and mental wellbeing.”

So if you’re living in or around the Warwick area and enjoy being outside and meeting new people make sure you check it out. They accept people of all abilities, so it doesn’t matter if you want to speedwalk your way through or just join them for a leisurely stroll!

“The blind and visually impaired community in Warwickshire will benefit together with their families and carers. Currently we have recruited 7 visually impaired members to the club and have 5 volunteers and we are actively recruiting new members. Three of our new members are guide dog users and therefore their four legged friends will also benefit by being afforded regular exercise and social interaction.  We are aiming to have upwards of 20 members by the end of 2022, with regular attendance of between 10 and 12 visually impaired people. This club is operating for 48 weeks of the year and presents great value for money. We are also actively seeking to replicate this model in other parts of Warwickshire.”

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