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Take a guided walk with Green Sefton this Mental Health Awareness Week

To help celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service will be running a series of short walks along the coast to celebrate the nature that lies on our doorstep.

This year’s awareness week runs from Monday 10th to Sunday 16th May and celebrates the theme of nature, something which Sefton is lucky to have in abundance across the entire Borough.

The Mental Health Foundation’s research on the impact of the pandemic found that going for walks was one of the nation’s top coping strategies. Around 45% of people agreed that spending time in green spaces was vital for their mental health.

Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.

John Dempsey leading a walk
John Dempsey leading a walk

Green Sefton Engagement Officer, John Dempsey, who will lead the walks said: “It is important to remember that while nature has been so beneficial to so many of us over the last year, we must also treat it with respect, and never more so than along Sefton’s special coastline and in our beautiful parks and green spaces.

“In my role with Green Sefton I spend a lot of my time at the coast and in our parks, engaging with people of all ages and from a range of backgrounds, sharing just how vital the nature around us is.

“I’m incredibly lucky to be able to spend so much time in Sefton’s outdoor spaces and can truly say that the mental health benefits are fantastic – as would many of our volunteer groups who feel just as passionately as us about looking after these precious spaces.”

To comply with existing Covid-19 restrictions and precautions, a maximum of five guests will be able to join the free walks, and social distancing will be observed. The walks will take place on:

  • Tuesday 11th May – 10am Crosby
  • Wednesday 12th May – 10am Birkdale
  • Thursday 13th May – 10am Hightown
  • Friday 14th May – 10am Ainsdale
Green Sefton walk along Crosby beach
Green Sefton walk along Crosby beach

Each walk will last approximately 90 minutes and participants will need sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing. To book a place, people need to email john.dempsey@sefton.gov.uk and full details will be supplied with successful bookings.

John added: “While it will be a case of first-come, first-served, until restrictions are further relaxed, don’t worry if you’re unable to join a walk on this occasion as more walks for greater numbers will be organised soon as restrictions are lifted further.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “From our stunning dunes to our leafy parks, Sefton is a Borough bursting with nature. During this past year we’ve seen more people than ever spending time at these amazing spaces, reflecting on these challenging times but finding comfort from a connection with nature.   

“I know that for many of our residents, daily walks have kept them going and many have found beautiful places right on their doorstep that they hadn’t realised were so close to home.

“Spending time outdoors has been shown to really promote good mental health and I’m delighted that we can offer some guided walks this week. While places are currently limited, we hope to offer more walks in the future.

“I would encourage everyone to take a moment this week whether it’s listening to birdsong from your window or walking with a friend down your street to appreciate nature and talk about your mental health.”

For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

For more about Green Sefton, please visit: www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/green-sefton/