Walking group leads the way in fight to improve health

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A PIONEERING Hucknall group that specialises in weekly walks to boost health is going strong a decade after it launched.

Taking Steps was created with the help of National Lottery cash in 2002 and support from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Since then, it has flourished on the back of a dedicated group of volunteers and loyal members.

Taking Steps offers short urban walks on Mondays and then longer ‘wilder’ walks on Wednesdays that head out into the countryside.

Extra, longer walks are regularly arranged at beauty spots, such as Newstead Abbey. There is also an annual bus-trip.

All the walks are free and the group runs throughout the year.

Now its chairman, Sheila Dixon, is backing the Dispatch’s ‘Fit, Healthy And Happy’ campaign and encouraging residents to get involved in all forms of exercise.

“I think the campaign is great,” said Sheila (68). “It ties in with exactly what we do. We are encouraging people to get healthy without having to take formal classes but while enjoying a social side with warm and welcoming friends.”

Walks start at the Under One Roof Centre on Vine Terrace. On Wednesdays, they regularly attract up to 40 of Taking Steps’ 70 members.

The group is planning a special fancy-dress walk on Wednesday June 6 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with the route taking in Hucknall streets that have royal links, including Buckingham Avenue.

As well as Sheila, the group’s committee is made up of founder members Sandy Singleton and Sheila Hicklin, husband and wife Sue and Brian Harby, and Vivian Ackroyd.