News & Media

Stepping out for health in Warrington

29.08.2017

The power of a good walk and a good talk is being put to the test with a Warrington GP surgery, in a pilot scheme being launched this autumn.

Greenbank Surgery, on Manchester Road, is helping the charity Active Cheshire to test the impact of a short weekly ‘Walk2Talk’ community walk for patients’ sense of feeling fit and having better friendship networks.

The charity will lead the free, one-mile walk from outside the surgery once a week during the eight-week pilot scheme, which will be open to everyone – with Greenbank’s team encouraging patients to join in.

Joanne Taylor from Active Cheshire says: “If your GP could prescribe you a pill that could reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint pain, depression, dementia and some cancers, most of us would want to take it. While the pill doesn’t exist, getting enough activity can have the same impact – which is why we’re always looking for new ways to get people of all ages to be active. With this pilot, we’re particularly keen to involve older people who may spend a lot of time alone and are looking for the chance to chat – so we’re excited to have the support from Greenbank Surgery to encourage people to join in.”

The pilot, which we’re funding, will also explore how GP surgery buildings can act as community bases for walking activities. Our Head of Public Affairs Claire Rick says: “Walking is one of the simplest tools in the armoury when it comes to helping people keep fit or to get back to fitness after an illness or accident, and we’ve long been interested in how surgery buildings can help them do this. Surgeries across the country are already using our Mile Maps scheme, which shows patients and staff simple, circular routes right from the front door of the surgery, and this project is taking it to the next level – testing out how an organised walk, led from outside a surgery, can be a resource for doctors to flag to patients.”

Our Mile Maps scheme offers all GP surgeries a free, circular, one-mile walking route map for their waiting area wall. It’s already being used by practices around the country. This year, Active Cheshire is one of four charities to receive a grant from our Healthy Communities Scheme to help improve health for people in Warrington.