YORKSHIRE’S Brain Tumour Charity (YBTC), based in Headingley, has partnered with social enterprise Good Footing to offer free mental health-boosting walks at local nature spots. The first walks will be in Leeds, Birstall and Barnsley, with more to follow.
Guided by a trained volunteer and open to all adults affected by a brain tumour, including patients, carers and loved ones, the walks are a chance to socialise with people who understand while experiencing the calming benefits of the outdoors. A member of staff from YBTC will remain at the venue’s café so that any family members physically unable to take part can enjoy a drink and a chat.
The first walk took place on Saturday 14th August at St Aidan’s Nature Reserve in Leeds to great success.
One participant said:
‘It was great being side by side. It really helped me to talk and feel more relaxed.’
‘I enjoyed the discussions I had and hearing how other people have overcome the difficulties they’ve faced.’
‘Being outside felt great, and taking a little time for me was just what I needed.’
Other walks are planned on Sunday 5th September at Oakwell Hall, Birstall, Sunday 26th September at Wentworth Woodhouse, Barnsley and Sunday 17th October at Temple Newsam, Leeds, with more dates to follow.
Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity CEO Marie Peacock said:
“This was our first group wellbeing walk, and I was delighted with how much everyone enjoyed it. As a charity, we want to ensure we are providing support in different ways to ensure there is something suitable and accessible for everyone. This is definitely something we will continue to organise each month across the region.”
Good Footing founder Danny Bulmer said:
“Good Footing is very excited to be working in partnership with YBTC. We wanted to create a space for people to feel comfortable opening up and sharing their experiences and a space to ‘switch off’ and enjoy the benefits of walking in nature.
“Our first walk at St. Aidan’s couldn’t have gone better. It was so good to see people who had not met previously sharing their relative experiences, hearing each other out and supporting one another. The walk also created space for carers to take some much-needed time out for themselves. We’re really looking forward to the upcoming walks at Birstall, Barnsley and Leeds and hope we can continue to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”
The walks are part of YBTC’s ongoing project to expand their range of support and provide an alternative for those weary of traditional support groups. Other alternatives include art and craft sessions, hypnotherapy and a peer support scheme.
There is also the opportunity to book a series of six one-on-one walks with Good Footing through the charity, arranged at a time and location to suit you.
Good Footing founder Danny started out in account management for creative agencies before setting up a co-working space and a snack brand and now works as a brand strategist. After struggling with anxiety and depression for several years, he launched Good Footing, running ‘outdoor workshops’ including walks and wild swims, which aim to boost mental and physical well-being.
Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity is Yorkshire’s leading brain tumour charity dedicated to raising funds for life-changing research and patient support. They support brain tumour patients of all ages as well as their families, with services ranging from counselling and emergency grants to support groups and family events.
To find out more, please visit: yorksbtc.org.uk/wellbeing-walks.