Living Streets is a national walking charity which encourages people to see walking as the natural choice for short journeys. We have been going for 90 years and have a strong reputation in Government, Local Authorities and communities across the UK as campaigning for better quality places and streets for walking and spending time.
Our Streets Apart project focusses on encouraging and supporting over 65’s to walk more in their local areas, make new friends and access more facilities. We expect this to provide a number of benefits - getting more active and fit, being in the fresh air, being with other people, hopefully helping to lift mood and reduce isolation.
We also wish to recruit over 50’s and 60’s as volunteers who can be trained as walk leaders and invite other seniors to join the walks in their neighbourhood.
In Redbridge we hope to have three regular walking groups going on each week, each with a leader and backmarker. The routes will be chosen with the volunteers and will probably finish up at a café.
We will ask people to provide us with basic contact details and invite them to complete a short survey about how they feel at the start, then chat to them again every month to see how the project is helping them.
Main tasks and responsibilities
There are two volunteering roles: walk leader and back marker. This opportunity is about working the walk around:
- ability and stamina of the walkers taking part
- the availability of the volunteers and where they live
- the particular interests of the participants.
We will work with the volunteers to get the walk established, help recruit participants to the walk from the local area and initially lead the walk so volunteers can shadow the session. There is some paperwork but its limited.
They can chat as much or as little as they wish along the way, and its even better if a café is planned for the end of the walk.
Volunteers will be supported throughout by our project coordinator and London Manager and this will include training, induction, day to day contact and monthly volunteer meetings.
Skills, experience, attributes and qualifications
- Appreciates walking, local history / nature / the outdoors
- Quite easy going
- Sensitive to the needs of others with the ability to listen
- Has confidence to lead / support others
- Willing to try something new
- Is responsible to keep risk and safety in mind
- Is willing to work within the Living Streets framework
- Mobile phone
- Internet access
- Minimum age requirement: 23+
Benefits to volunteer
- Walk leader training
- A monthly volunteers social with coffee and cake in a cafe
- Make a difference in your local community
- Part of a respected national organisation
- Further learning options
- Branded T-shirt and loan of branded anorak
- Basic reference after three months regular volunteering.
Support for volunteers
- Named supervisor
- Regular supervision
- Regular meet ups with other volunteers on the project.
- Walk leader training – 1 day
- Confidentiality, safeguarding, health and safety, data collection and GDPR. – half day
Further training once activities are under way:
- Active listening skills, dementia awareness, health conditions to be aware of, adapting walks for less able.
- Volunteers can suggest training at the monthly get togethers, and we can invite speakers in from outside such as mental health awareness.
- Application form
- Informal interview
- Trial period of two shadow walks
- DBS check required: yes
- References: Two references form a professional to cover a one year period
- Average length of recruitment: one month