12 March 2012
The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support have announced today that they will jointly take over Walking for Health, providing support for the largest network of health walk schemes and over 75,000 participants in England.
Having won a national tender to provide central support services for Walking for Health, The Ramblers, Britain’s leading walking charity, will officially take over the management of its national centre from Natural England at the beginning of April. The Ramblers will work closely with Macmillan Cancer Support to continue to support and develop the existing programme of over 600 walks.
This strong new partnership of two highly regarded organisations will help secure the future of Walking for Health and their expertise will be used to encourage growth and the development of services for local health walks schemes as well as increase the opportunities for people affected by cancer or any other condition to participate.
Benedict Southworth, Chief Executive of the Ramblers, said:
“We are delighted to be taking on Walking for Health from April and look forward to this exciting new opportunity to bring the benefits of walking to even more people. Walking is the easiest and most accessible form of physical activity and can make a real difference to people’s health and well being. We are particularly pleased to be working with another great charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.”
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“I very much look forward to working in partnership with the Ramblers to ensure that Walking for Health continues to grow. Together we can increase opportunities for people to become more active, whether it is because they have cancer, some other condition, or just want to be healthy.
“For cancer, being active can help manage some of the debilitating consequences of treatment. Exercise can even help reduce the chance of some cancers coming back.”
Natural England is working closely with both organisations to ensure a smooth transition of management. Insurance for local schemes and access to the Walking for Health database will continue uninterrupted.
For further information about Walking for Health, or to find out about a health walk scheme in your local area, please visit www.wfh.naturalengland.org.uk (until the end of March) and www.walkingforhealth.org.uk (from the beginning of April).
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
About Walking for Health
Walking for Health is England’s national network of health walks schemes, offering regular short walks with trained walk leaders. Over 75,000 walkers attend health walks regularly on around 650 schemes. Health walks are usually short (up to 1hour), on easy terrain, accessible to a wide range of walkers, and take place on a regular schedule. They are usually open and free to everyone.
Schemes are funded and managed at local level by a wide variety of organisations, mainly local councils and the NHS but increasingly the voluntary sector and charities, using free resources provided by the Walking for Health national centre. Currently the centre is hosted by Natural England but is being handed over from April 2012 to the Ramblers in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.
About the Ramblers
The Ramblers is at the heart of walking in Britain; working to promote walking and protect the places where people walk. As Britain’s walking charity, it works to make it easy for everyone to walk, whether in countryside, cities, hills, coasts and on or off the beaten track.
It has a grass roots network of over 17,000 volunteers who work tirelessly for a walking Britain. For over 75 years it has helped build and protect Britain’s 130,000 mile long path network, running over 38,000 walks a year, and campaigning for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
For more information about Macmillan Cancer Support, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or freephone 0800 500 800 for an information pack.