Daventry social walking group reached more than 700 members

“You’re not alone”

A Daventry walking group for “meeting new people," socialising, and “getting in some steps” reached more than 700 members.

Walk, Talk and Socialise, a Facebook community group, has been bringing people together for almost a year now.

Melissa Simpson, 37, a wellness coach, established the group on April 27. The first group walk took place at the beginning of May 2023, after the residents voiced their interest.

She said: “I’m really into being healthy myself, getting out and being active, and really love meeting new people and also getting in some steps.

“I got to the point where I was going out for walks, and I was just thinking that I don’t like walking out on my own. I just thought there must be other people probably feeling this way.”

Melissa decided to launch the group to make walking more appealing for people who enjoy it but are reluctant to venture out alone.

“It’s a relaxed walk. It’s more about being together in the community and socialising. I want this to be enjoyable and friendly. Bringing the community together is very important,” said Melissa.

The gatherings, which typically include anywhere from six to 35 participants, take place on the weekends. Melissa plans to arrange some sessions during the week soon.

People can show up at any time or use the group to plan other social events.

“People prefer to do them in the morning, 11 o'clock is a very popular time, but I normally put polls out and I go with the majority. I just want to mix it up for people,” said Melissa.

Families, friends, and pets are all invited to participate in the walks, regardless of their abilities.

“You’re not alone. There’s always someone here that you can talk to—someone who will listen and care. No one will ever be walking on their own,” said Melissa.

One of the residents shared their experience with the group so far.

Alisha Martin, 27, said: “I joined the group last year completely on my own and it's something I now genuinely look forward to. I’ve met such a wide variety of people and made great friendships. It’s amazing to be getting steps in while sharing stories with people. Joining was one of the best things I’ve done.”

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