Organisers today hailed the success of the first Ipswich “Walk and Talk” event, a health walk designed to help people wanting to know more about keeping mentally healthy.
The session was built around giving participants an opportunity to go on a walk from Gainsborough Sports Centre towards the Orwell Country Park, while receiving support and advice around mental health.
The walk was developed in partnership between One Life Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.
Andrew Wilesmith, Operations Manager for Sport and Leisure at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The initiative came about after a conversation we had with One Life around their health walks and how we are doing more to try to support mental health issues through physical activity. The first walk was a great success and we hope to make it a regular part of our physical activity programme and One Life’s Health Walk programme. It is a relaxed and safe environment and it was great to see people of all ages and abilities enjoying it.”
Katie Read, Health Walk Co-ordinator for One Life Suffolk said: “The benefits of physical activity on an individual’s mental health and wellbeing are well documented. Our health walks give people a free, safe and welcoming space to enjoy the company of others, get outside and get active. It was great to see that the walk was so well supported by local mental health services and that we were able to have the chance to talk freely and informally about mental health and wellbeing”
There are now plans to run this every month and look at growing the initiative across the town. If you want to find out more go to www.ipswichfit.co.uk/walks. To find out about all the Health Walks that go on across the county go to https://onelifesuffolk.co.uk/health-walks/