Sue striding ahead with idea for healthy lunchtime

Photo Neil Cross
Healthcare assistant Sue James has set up a walking group for patients at St Fillans Medical Centre, Liverpool Road, Penwortham, to walk in Hurst Grange park

Photo Neil Cross Healthcare assistant Sue James has set up a walking group for patients at St Fillans Medical Centre, Liverpool Road, Penwortham, to walk in Hurst Grange park

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Most people might nip to get a sandwich or read the paper on their lunch break, but Sue James has set up a walking group.

The healthcare assistant at St Fillans Medical Centre in Penwortham leads a 40 minute walk around nearby Hurst Grange Park every Wednesday for people who want to get fitter, or just socialise.

She said: “I became a healthcare assistant nine months ago and deal with issues such as weight management and diet.

“A lot of people were telling me that they don’t like walking alone because they feel like they’re being judged.

“I knew there must be something I could do, and because I do a lot of walking myself, looked into putting a walking group together.”

The group was launched in April and now has 15 regular members.

Although doctors do mention the group to patients, it is not limited to people who are suffering ill health.

Sue added: “There’s a real mix of people who come along. It’s about sensible exercise - it’s a slow walking group with most members a little older.

“We go on a smooth route away from the traffic for about 40 to 45 minutes, which is as long as I can manage in my lunch time.

“You don’t need to just do intense exercise - even a 10 minute walk to get a paper in the fresh air is beneficial. And the social element is important too. We have people who are bereaved or lonely, and they get to get out and speak to new people. Two of the ladies now bring each other in the car and then go off to do yoga together later in the week.

“I feel privileged to walk with these people.”

The group sets off from St Fillans Medical Centre in Liverpool Road at 1pm every Wednesday.