A walking scheme which is helping Ribble Valley residents take great strides in health and fitness is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Stepping Out was set up in 2004 to promote walking as an effective and low-risk form of physical activity for those who are inactive.
Starting with a handful of volunteers and two treks a week, it now offers a bustling programme of weekly walks of varying lengths and difficulty, all facilitated by an enthusiastic team of more than 30 specially-trained volunteer walk leaders.
The Stepping Out programmes attracts more than 130 weekly participants, four-fifths of whom have been attending Stepping Out for more than two years.
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 that it is going from strength to strength.”
Stepping Out includes evening and weekend walks, as well as gentle 10-minute treks for residents with restricted mobility.
The latest addition to the programme is called Getting Started and comprises short 15 to 30-minute walks for absolute beginners, perhaps with reduced mobility or who might not be confident to go out for a walk on their own.
l For information about the walks available and a Stepping Out programme, call co-ordinator Barrie Williams on 01200 414484.