New charity group to run West Norfolk health walks programme

Borough councillor Elizabeth Nockolds
Borough councillor Elizabeth Nockolds

A new charity group is being set up to run a walking scheme designed to help West Norfolk residents return to and maintain good health.

The free Health Walks scheme has been run by West Norfolk Council since it was set up in 2008 and more than 1,000 people are registered to take part in the programme.

But the authority is now working with volunteers and sports organisation Active Norfolk to establish a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) to oversee the scheme.

The council is providing £2,000 of start-up funding, plus ongoing support to the group, while Active Norfolk will provide financial support and training in walk leadership and first aid.

Elizabeth Nockolds, the borough council’s cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “The new trustees are fully committed to continuing the Health Walks programme, and the transition won’t affect the walkers taking part.

“The trustees’ enthusiasm for this programme to continue, along with support from the borough council, will mean people living in west Norfolk can continue to benefit from this scheme.”

Mick Donoghue, the scheme’s co-ordinator, added: “Although at first it seemed daunting, the keenness of existing walkers and the willingness of experienced leaders to continue has made the transition achievable. We are confident the new scheme will be successful.”

The current programme of walks is available online at www.activenorfolk.org/west-norfolk.