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🎥 More than just walking

🎥 More than just walking

Categories: Active Sussex News Coach & Volunteering Insight Uncategorized


Our 'More than just walking', video is now available for you to watch, replay and share! 

Active Sussex are working to develop the coaches and volunteers needed to support inactive people to be active. 

In focus: The inspirational ‘Healthy Walks in Arun’ – Ferring walking group, are a fantastic example of a volunteer-led group.

Watch and be inspired by this film.

Founded in 2011 by Walk Leader Sian Fletcher, the all-inclusive group supports those living with long term health conditions, including cancer and mental health conditions, and also helps support participants who have suffered from a bereavement. They meet every Monday, throughout the year, whatever the weather. 

Some examples of how Sian creates the right environment in the group is to:

  • engage with new members straight away and make them feel part of the community
  • have regular contact with participants 
  • places importance on the social aspect 
  • organises special walks and events in different areas of the district

Walk Leader Sian Fletcher founded the ‘Healthy Walks in Arun’ – Ferring walking group in 2011. 

The Ferring walk group is part of the 'Healthy Walks in Arun' programme run by Freedom Leisure on behalf of Arun District Council. It is part of the national initiative 'Walking for Health' and the projects overall aim is to engage people into physical activity, many of whom wouldn't be physically active otherwise. 

When the group first started 10-15 walkers attended each week, this has now grown to 60-70 regular walkers. There has been an incredible 3,9,29 attendances from January 2018 – August 2019. 

“It’s far more than just walking,” said Sian. “The group are like a family really… a large family. The walking group stands by inclusivity and is open to all - there are people from all walks of life. 

“We are very social, people seem to make friends very quickly and people who are on their own have made a network of friends. 

“You need to come and see it, it’s fun, and people are laughing and talking the whole way.” 

We take a closer look at some of the participants journey’s from inactive to active.

Active Sussex Workforce support 

The ‘Healthy Walks in Arun’ – Ferring walking group, are a fantastic example of a volunteer-led group. Do you have the right volunteers and coaches in place to support people with disabilities or long-term health conditions?

Active Sussex have invested Sport England Funding into Rother District Council, Hastings Borough Council and 3VA to build the workforce needed to engage inactive people. 

The first stage of this project has been to understand physical activity levels and attitudes of residents and participants, and the coaches and volunteers needed to support them to become active. You can download our reports on audiences here:

The methods and learning from this project can be applied to other areas, mostly at zero cost. Please contact Active Sussex to discuss how to build the workforce needed to support inactive people in your area.

And for further Workforce information please contact Anthony Statham, Active Sussex's Strategic Relationship Manager and Workforce Lead, E: astatham@activesussex.org/ T: 01273 644149.