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Charity running history walks to tackle social isolation problems

PUBLISHED: 16:04 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:04 05 March 2018

Norwich Cathedral stands out against the night sky viewed through the Erpingham Gate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Cathedral stands out against the night sky viewed through the Erpingham Gate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

History walks will be used to tackle isolation among the older generations.

Age UK Norwich has teamed up with three experienced volunteers who will guide free walks around Norwich Cathedral.

The hour-long routes start this Thursday and are aimed at anyone aged 55 and over in a bid to encourage gentle exercise and socialising.

Stella Sheldon, community outreach officer for Age UK Norwich, said: “What is really important about the walks is the social element. We are trying to reduce isolation by bringing people together by gentle exercise.

“Loneliness is a big issue. The more isolated you are, you are not going to be getting out there and exercising. The longer you are isolated, the harder it is to motivate yourself.”

The charity previously ran walks for older residents in Eaton Park, Earlham Park in Norwich and around Whitlingham Broad, in Trowse, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

But following an interest in Norwich’s history from walk participants, the organisation developed the city routes.

“It is exciting. The walks will connect people to the local culture. There is a lot of interest in history. Norwich is really lovely city and the walks offer a chance for people to have that engagement with it,” Miss Sheldon added.

Walks might be brought back around Eaton Park later this year.

As well as the city walks Age UK Norwich has started free weekly community walks around Waterloo Park and green spaces around Lakenham and Tuckswood. These are open to anyone and also encourage gentle fitness and social interaction.

The Waterloo Park walks take place from 10am-11.30am every Wednesday from Park Britania.

Wildlife walks will be led by expert Zara Gardner from the Conservation Volunteers charity. They start on Monday March 19.

The city walks will take place every two weeks on a Thursday, between March and July, and participants have to meet at 10.30am outside Norwich Cathedral’s Erpingham Gate.

After the walk people can enjoy a drink and chat in the cathedral café.

Miss Sheldon added that people under 55 could take part in the city walks.

Call Miss Sheldon on 01603 397785.

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