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Walk back to health in Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 09:43 10 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:35 03 July 2010

Bracing walks along Great Yarmouth's coast and gentle strolls through the Waveney countryside were at the centre piece of a new health campaign launched yesterday.

Bracing walks along Great Yarmouth's coast and gentle strolls through the Waveney countryside were at the centre piece of a new health campaign launched yesterday.

Natural England announced that it is expanding its free walking the way to health schemes in the east of England.

The trails see people who suffer from health problems, such as heart difficulties, obesity or a lack of exercise, go on scenic guided walks led by specially trained volunteers.

Yesterday at Yarmouth's Priory Centre it was announced that two new staff will be recruited by Natural England to expand its East Anglian health walks to up to 7,000 people, including GP referrals, over the next three years.

It was also announced that the healthy walk schemes in Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Beccles will also be expanded in conjunction with NHS Yarmouth and Waveney. At the moment 550 people go on the regular walks.

As well as getting people healthier, it is hoped that the new improved walks will help save the NHS some of the £3m it spends on tackling physical inactivity in Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The two new staff are being funded from a £11m pot of government cash secured by Natural England, which every week organises 267 walls in the east of England with 680 volunteers.

Shaun Thomas, Natural England regional director for the East, said: “Here in Yarmouth you can choose between bracing sea walks, public parks and tree lined streets that lift the spirits and can help people maintain healthier happier lives.

“We have designed our walks to push people just the right amount, taking into the account their health needs, with the added bonus of a group of new friends who will look forward to seeing them on regular walks.”

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney director of public health Dr Alistair Lipp said: “Walking is a great way to get physically active - it is fun, free and accessible to young and old alike.

“I am thrilled that Natural England is expanding the walking the way to health scheme.”

For information on the walking the way to health schemes visit www.whi.org.uk


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