A new walking group is to launch in June to tackle issues such as loneliness and social isolation on the Island.
It’s being set up by the local charity Way Forward. Programme Lead, Lee White, said: “Physical exercise and spending time outdoors have been shown to improve mood and mental health, but even more importantly the new group will give people the opportunity to make new friends and offer encouragement to get involved in community activities.”
The circular walks will run every Sunday morning starting at 11:00. The first one takes place on 9th June starting at the main car park in Yarmouth and will go along the old railway line to Freshwater. Each walk will also include a stop at a tea rooms or café.
The group is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for help to cope with a mental health condition such as depression or an anxiety disorder, as well as those with learning disabilities. The group is free but participants will have to pay for their own refreshments.
“We can provide transport if getting around the Island is difficult for some, but places are limited” says Lee White. To book a place on the walks, contact the Way Forward office on 01983 823000.
The initiative is being funded by the NHS and Isle of Wight council as part of the Mental Health prospectus.
More information on other activities provided through the Way Forward programme can be found on their website www.wayforwardprogramme.co.uk.