Tackling Inactivity Project

Collyhurst Walking Group.

Sue Bowen. Walk Leader

The Collyhurst Walking Group meets weekly every Tuesday 11am to 1.30pm and includes a light lunch and group meet up.

Although not everyone who attends is from Collyhurst most people live here and have a family connection but people come from all over north Manchester we have been going for almost 4 years. Can’t believe it!!.

I’ll give some background to how it got started, might not be completely accurate as it’s very complicated. The group was set up as part of the Connecting Collyhurst Big Local initiative which received a Million Pounds from the National Lottery to improve Collyhurst.

Local residents and organisations had wanted to get communities across Collyhurst meeting up and improving the area so Collyhurst Big Local invested thousands of pounds on creating the Connecting Collyhurst Walking Routes and built a bridge across the River Irk.

See map below

These routes include open spaces The Irk Valley and Sandhills, Community Allotments and Forest schools and places of historical and community interest.

Once the routes were established more funding was found from the Tackling Inactivity Fund (a pot of money to get people more active) to establish a Walking Group managed by Gateway M40.

It took a while before residents started to attend the Walking group and we had an incentive of a free Fit Bit if you completed 10 walks.

Gradually more people began to come and now we have a membership of 20 plus but a core group of 12 attending weekly.

During the Pandemic numbers were reduced to 5 only and the project base moved to St Georges Youth and Community Centre.

As the lockdown lifted outdoor exercise and walking was found to be one of the best ways to stay healthy both mentally and physically Who’d a think it! and more people began to join.

I have received a lot of feedback from members who really enjoy the walks come rain, hail or shine sometimes all in one day.

We love meeting and talking, laughing, singing, sharing memories and looking to the future as many are active volunteers in their community.

We welcome well behaved dogs who love getting off their leads in the open spaces.

We report fly tipping and have been campaigning for environmental improvements of the open spaces and the wider community.

On one magical summers day when the Sandhill’s grass had not been mowed and was 5ft high we all suddenly stopped and whispered ‘quiet look’ as we saw two Roe dear enjoying the safety of the long grass.

In the future we are going further on walking trips to the Peaks and around the northwest when we can but mostly we will be staying in North Manchester and we would like more people to join us and our weekly adventures.