Guests enjoy a soggy stroll as Simply Walk scheme clocks up 21 years in Bucks

Some volunteers and walkers have been involved in the scheme since the beginning
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Nearly 90 people gathered in the orchard of Hughenden Manor to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Buckinghamshire’s popular Simply Walk initiative.

Simply Walk is a health walks scheme run by Bucks Council which encourages people of all ages and abilities to take part in regular led walks across the county.

There are currently more than 65 walks, most of which take place weekly, with over 2,000 people regularly taking part and more than 250 volunteers. It is free to join (though donations are welcome) and no need to book.

Nearly 90 people joined in the celebrations at Hughenden ManorNearly 90 people joined in the celebrations at Hughenden Manor
Nearly 90 people joined in the celebrations at Hughenden Manor

Every walk is led by a trained volunteer leader and there is a backmarker to ensure no-one gets left behind.

Many walkers say it has helped them to be more active, make new friends and decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.

On Friday, July 14, guests were invited to participate in a choice of walks in the grounds of the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor, followed by the cutting of a celebratory cake and a thank you speech from council chairman, Patricia Birchley. This was followed by a picnic in the orchard, with music provided by volunteer bellringers from the Friends of Langley Park.

Speaking after the event, Patricia Birchley said: “It has been wonderful to meet so many of the people who make our Simply Walk scheme what it is.

The cake cutting. From left: Clive Harriss, Fiona Broadbent, Patricia Birchley, Zahir MohammedThe cake cutting. From left: Clive Harriss, Fiona Broadbent, Patricia Birchley, Zahir Mohammed
The cake cutting. From left: Clive Harriss, Fiona Broadbent, Patricia Birchley, Zahir Mohammed

"The dedication and enthusiasm of our volunteers is essential to the success of Simply Walk and without them Simply Walk would not exist, so I would like to say a huge thank you to them all.”

Cabinet member for culture and leisure, Clive Harriss, said: “Simply Walk provides so much more than a physical activity. Over the years, it has developed into a huge family, providing a warm welcome, friendship and support for so many, particularly during and since the pandemic. Some volunteers and walkers have been involved in the scheme since the beginning, 21 years ago – a huge achievement.”

New volunteers are always needed to help the Simply Walk scheme to grow and thrive. To find out more about becoming a volunteer or for a list of all the walks that take place in Bucks, visit the website.

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