Words by Jobe Baker-Sullivan / Images supplied by Erdington Walking Group
A Stockland Green GP surgery is prescribing the Erdington Walking Group (EWG) to help improve local resident’s mental and physical health.
Healthcare officials at Tudor Practice, Reservoir Road, Stockland Green, have recognised the EWG as a vital resource for people who are feeling “isolated, lonely or inactive”, especially following the Covid pandemic and lockdowns
“I found out about EWG through Facebook and the ‘Next Door’ app,” explained Alex, a healthcare support worker at Tudor Practice. “I also had a patient who was part of the group mention it to me.
“Before Covid we used to have a different walking group that we would refer patients to which was beneficial, but due to Covid that stopped. Covid caused a lot of patients to feel isolated, lonely, and inactive. Coming out of lockdown, it was hard for them to get back into a routine they may have once had.
“A lot more patients were getting diagnosed with pre-diabetes/diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity etc.”
EWG host free meet ups, which are ‘open to all age groups, abilities and doggies on leads’. The group meets every Monday and fortnightly on Thursday between 6:30pm and 7:30pm.
Due to “growing demand” the EWG have added another weekly group, meeting every Tuesday between 1pm and 2pm – said EWG founder Selina Gooden.
Harold MacDonald has been a regular walker with EWG for over two years. He told: “It was the perfect incentive to get off the settee and mentally de-stress while getting some fresh air and gentle exercise.
“There’s always a nice mix of people of all ages, ethnicity, and both sexes – even the odd dog walker and pram pusher too. People can walk as fast or slow as they like. I would recommend it to everybody.”
EWG founder Selina Gooden is planning more events as the weather improves. “The group is open to all ages; we’ve had people from the age of five to 84 walk with us.
“With the summer coming up I’ll be putting on a treasure hunt – there will be gifts, animal toys, and edible treats along the route for people to find along the walk,” added Selina.