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The Walk and Talk Movement’s mission is to help communities set up their own Walk and Talks around the UK – and spread health, happiness and smiles on faces to as many people and as many green spaces as possible.

Walk and Talks are really easy to start and run. They are purposely laid back and informal and run by the community for the community.

So what is the simple magic ingredient? All a new Walk and Talk really needs is one or two proactive people or organisations who can come together to kick things off. Once the community is up and walking, our experience shows local people come together to help nurture and grow the Walk and Talks. This is because they are so rewarding for everybody involved – and are a lot of fun.

Here are just some examples of how the seeds of new Walk and Talks in South West London were planted and how they have bloomed and flourished in their own right:

Local champion Anita, supported by the local residents association, established Walk and Talks in Wimbledon Park and then recruited volunteers from the walkers and talkers themselves to help lead and support walks. This friendly group, which has now been walking and talking every week for almost three years, also regularly enjoy a good chat over a cuppa afterwards – and even have a occasional bagpipe player to pipe them off on their walk.

This same model worked in Morden Hall Park, a beautiful National Trust property, that now has a dedicated group of volunteers that meet up before and after the Walk and Talk.

In Mitcham, Melanie, a keen walker and rambler and Bill, a long time local resident who is passionate about the area, have created brilliant walk and talks and engaged with residents and friends to support them.

In Tooting Common, Enable (the charity that runs the local parks on behalf of the council) helped support local champion Jane to build up a thriving Walk and Talk community and to connect with local friends and walkers and talkers who have a volunteering rota, typically helping once or twice a month. The group also enjoys local activities together around the Common.

In Wimbledon Common an inspiring, and inspired, volunteer Rob has helped co-ordinate local community groups to come together to support a really popular Walk and Talk that goes from strength to strength. This includes friends of parks groups, residents associations, the organisation that looks after Wimbledon and Putney Commons, local councillors and MPs, local societies and volunteers from regular walkers and talkers. By coming together and combining forces, Walk and Talks are shared between these groups and are promoted via their networks – a win-win for everybody.

In Pollards Hill the local doctor’s surgery and health and wellbeing service Wide Way provided an inspiring local champion Dee, supported by community focused head of the surgery Dr Mohan, to bring together local walkers and talkers, including those referred by the medical practice. It has proved a great success with a wonderful group of regular walker and talkers.

King George’s Park in Wandsworth is an example of how Walk and Talks can grow into a new area. Andy, a fantastic Wimbledon Park Walk and Talk volunteer, loved the concept so much he was inspired to set up one in a new local green space – and even recruited local volunteers who turned up for the first Walk and Talk. What a brilliant result Andy.

Meanwhile in Colliers Wood local volunteers share the Walk and Talk in a very laid back and friendly way – supporting each other every step of the way.

These are just some examples of how individuals, organisations, networks and communities have come together to run successful and enduring Walk and Talks.

In other words Walk and Talks are simple to set up and can quickly run themselves. All it needs is a bit of passion and inspiration to get them going and you won’t put a foot wrong.

Find out how to Start a Walk and Talk today – it really is a walk in the park and The Walk and Talk Movement provides a wealth of guidance and resources to help you. 

Start a Walk and Talk