Stepping Out group details 2015 programme

Ribble Valley Borough Council's Stepping Out coordinator Barrie Williams.

Ribble Valley Borough Council's Stepping Out coordinator Barrie Williams.

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An award-winning walking scheme that helps people take great strides for health and fitness has launched its 2015 programme.

Stepping Out was set up in 2004 by Ribble Valley Council to promote walking as an effective and low-risk form of physical activity for those who are inactive.

Started with a handful of volunteers and two treks a week, it now offers a programme of free weekly walks of varying lengths and difficulty led by a team of 30 trained volunteers. It attracts about 130 walkers a week.

Stepping Out co-ordinator Barrie Williams said: “Evidence is increasingly showing walking’s many benefits. You don’t have to be fit to walk and the elderly, as well as those recovering from illness, can enjoy it – and it’s free.

“Stepping Out encourages people who might not otherwise be active to enjoy the benefits of walking in a friendly, welcoming and non-competitive environment.

“It is now one of Lancashire’s most successful health programmes and we are delighted it is going from strength to strength. I’d like to thank our team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers for helping to make the scheme such a success.”

Stepping Out includes evening and weekend walks, as well as short, gentle treks for residents with restricted mobility, all taking in some of Ribble Valley’s most scenic spots. There are also Nordic walking sessions on Tuesday mornings at Longridge Community Gym and “prambles” for people with prams and pushchairs, also on Tuesdays.

Further information and a Stepping Out programme are available from Barrie Williams on 01200 414484.