What is Volunteer Walk Leader training?
The Volunteer Walk Leader course is a free one-day course for anyone who would like to lead walks and be part of the Walking for Health scheme. This can include front, middle or back markers.
Walking for Health is part of England’s largest network of health walk schemes, helping all kinds of people to lead a more active lifestyle. Our walks are led by friendly, knowledgeable people, specially trained for the job. Along with fellow walkers, our walk leaders provide all the advice and encouragement a new walker needs to build fitness at a pace that’s right for them. In just a short time, a small amount of regular exercise can significantly improve a person’s health, well-being and confidence. And from what our walkers tell us, there’s plenty of laughter to be heard on our walks.
By the end of the course you will:
- Understand what Walking for Health is about
- Understand the benefits of walking and physical activity
- Get to know the role of a walk leader
- Have access to follow-up support and resources to help people make the most of your skills, including a Volunteer Walk Leader manual.
- Be confident to lead a health walk in due course (following the guidance that goes with the progress card)
- Have met and shared best practice with other walk leaders.
What to bring on the day
Suitable clothing and footwear – you will be taking part in a short demonstration health walk.
A packed lunch or snacks you require for the day.
What is expected of you after the training day?
When you have completed the walk leader training day your cascade trainer will sign and date your progress card to show that you have attended the training session. They will also need to sign off the following stages of your progress card.
You will then observe 1-2 health walks and take note of how the existing walk leaders run them.
The final stage is to lead your own walk.
When you have completed these stages, and your progress card has been fully signed off, you will be a fully qualified walk leader and will receive your certificate from your coordinator.
Lots of people like to start by “back marking” and you will not be expected to do anything you are not comfortable with. A back marker is a trained leader who walks with the back of the group of walkers, making sure no-one gets left behind.
You will be part of the national network of health walk schemes and will have the opportunity to attend meetings and walk leader get together with the scheme coordinator and other walk leaders as well as being given access to further training and support