Nordic Walking Groups were recently supported through Staff Lottery funding to purchase additional walking poles so that the walking sessions can be delivered across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Nordic Walking Groups are formed of people living with joint pain who have participated in and graduated from the ESCAPEE pain rehabilitation programme delivered by the Living Well Service. A key part of the service is to organise suitable post-programme activities that further support participants with their rehabilitation journey. Among the various activities, Nordic Walking stands out as the most popular and preferred choice.
Engaging in these enjoyable activities has not only contributed to the improvement of participants’ health but has also fostered a sense of community within the groups. Living Well rehabilitation coaches and ESCAPEE programme participants have undergone joint training to become qualified walk leaders, allowing them to collaboratively conduct the groups across Cardiff and the Vale.
Thanks to the Staff Lottery funding, the team successfully procured additional walking poles, enabling the activity to be introduced to various localities across Cardiff and the Vale, enabling more patients to have access to this hugely beneficial activity.
The initiative has unearthed a group of peer leaders with lived experience and has generated a collective community approach, providing a network of support for people with long-term conditions outside traditional healthcare services, including those awaiting care. The personal value of this continued participation has been demonstrated through participant stories:
“The sessions have helped my fitness, confidence of being out in a busy park and now I’m walking further than I have done for a long time.”
“I think that we consider ourselves being a team and we regularly talk about our particular pains, difficulties and moods – a problem shared. The sessions provide discipline for us all to stick together, and to keep doing exercise.”
Cardiff & Vale Health Charity is thrilled to have supported this project through Staff Lottery funding, recognising its role in offering patients an accessible way to exercise and an opportunity to join a supportive community while learning new skills. Special acknowledgment is extended to Paula from Barefoot Trading Limited, who supplied the equipment and provided additional support to the group. Robert Jones, Physiotherapist at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, who submitted the bid, described Barefoot Trading Limited as a “real example of a local community-focused company.”
You can find out more about how to join the Staff Lottery, and how to apply for funding to improve your department by visiting our website.