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People-centred public health$
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Jane South, Judy White, and Mark Gamsu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305316

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.001.0001

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Walking for Health – a case study

Walking for Health – a case study

Chapter:
(p.73) Six Walking for Health – a case study
Source:
People-centred public health
Author(s):

Jane South

Judy White

Mark Gamsu

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.003.0006

Walking for Health is a national initiative promoting volunteer-led health walks. This chapter presents a case study of a local Walking for Health scheme operating across one health district. Such schemes offer a simple model of community-based peer support, where volunteers independently lead local group walks after receiving brief training. The chapter starts with a description of the Walking for Health initiative, prior to reporting findings from interviews with practitioners, volunteer walk leaders and walk group participants. The role and responsibilities of walk leaders are discussed in depth and evidence is presented of the social benefits from engagement in walking groups. The chapter stresses the importance of maintaining an infrastructure to support volunteers, and highlights approaches to managing the inevitable risks involved in community activities.

Keywords:   volunteers, walking groups, walking for health, roles, peer support, volunteer support

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