A dog walking project was created to tackle isolation and physical inactivity amongst older people in Northwich, Cheshire West is proving a success, gaining recognition as a finalist at the Community Sport & Recreation Awards 2021.
The Walkeez program was funded by Sport England through the tackling Inequalities Fund, and campaigns for the power of physical activity to promote and enhance positive well-being. Being shortlisted for the ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing Award’ at the Community Sport and Recreation Awards is a great achievement at a time when older people’s physical wellbeing is highly promoted and needed.
The initiative was lead in partnership with Active Cheshire, Age UK Cheshire, and Walkeez and is the first-ever online Community Sport and Recreation Awards to celebrate community organisations achievements across 5 categories;
- Diversity and Inclusion Award
- Mental Health & Wellbeing Award
- Resilience in Adversity Award
Participants have really enjoyed the company from Cameron Turpin, the founder of Walkeez and deliverer of the project. Cameron has helped older people get active outdoors through this dog walking scheme with the support from his dogs, Hugo, Milo, Rufus and Sammy.
Roberta Pomponio Strategic Partnership Manager Active Minds from Active Cheshire said;
The Walkeez programme was created out of the proven evidence that regular physical activity can help combat depression (40% reduction) combined with the therapeutic role of the dogs, successfully helping many people experiencing loneliness, isolation and mental health issues throughout lockdown.
The benefits of walking with a dog are that they are a great conversation starter. Many people have been stuck for conversation as we have been under strict lockdown regulations. As well as improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles, and bones, and decreased stress.
To watch the YouTube video covering this project please click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aIVhe7NDlQ