This month we are launching our new Companion Walking Service.
It’s well-known that exercise relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins, but did you know that walking is one of the best forms of exercise? Walking has been shown to have many benefits – it improves joint mobility, muscle strength, circulation and bone density. It can also improve mental wellbeing, relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better and boost your overall mood. Walking in nature has been shown to be particularly beneficial, and we are fortunate in Wellington to have so many beautiful parks to enjoy.
If you are keen to get out into the community more and are interested in having a walking companion to assist you then this new service could be for you! We will match you with a fully trained volunteer walking companion with similar interests so that you can enjoy a walk together.
Your companion may be able to take you for a walk down to the local coffee shop, browse in the local shops or go to the beautiful rose gardens at the Botanical Gardens. If the weather is bad you could go to a museum or gallery. Doing any walking activity keeps you physically active, mentally stimulated and reduces any feelings of loneliness. You can have a great time together exploring new places.
We asked people what they are looking forward to most about this service and they said that they ‘can’t wait to get out into their local community to enjoy seeing people and having conversations. To be able to have company and a chat whilst sharing a walk with others!’
Walking with a Companion can give you confidence and open up opportunities to participate in future walks and community activities. Your Volunteer Walking Companion will have received full training and have passed police vetting. We hope you will develop a rapport with your volunteer and look forward to regular outings.
We anticipate that our clients will request a Walking Companion for many reasons. You may be recovering from an operation or have a medical condition which makes you feel unstable walking alone, you may already use a walking aid but still need the support of a volunteer and help with building up your confidence. You might want to explore your local community but be worried about finding your way home again. Or maybe you’d just like someone to talk to.
There are great benefits for you to enjoy:
- Making new friends
- Discovering new areas to walk
- Improving health and fitness
- Increasing your sense of wellbeing
Our volunteers enjoy the same benefits too! We are currently recruiting volunteers who enjoy the company of older people and would like to help someone with a walk in their community for an hour a week.