Life Walk Volunteers- Meeter and Greeter

What is Lifewalks?

Lifewalks is Epping Forest District Council’s walking for health scheme.  Our scheme is well run and genuinely improves people’s health and fitness.

 Lifewalks follow good practice and are supported by various groups.  Lifewalks is also highly rated so local GP’s, hospitals and dieticians often refer their patients to the scheme. Not all Lifewalkers have a medical problem though – most are already fit and healthy and simply want to stay that way.

 There are 5 led Lifewalks every week throughout the year on Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays,  10am, Saturdays at 10am and Sundays at 10:00am The walks are all between 1-3 miles and are on paths with good surfaces. There are walks across the Epping Forest District mostly within the Lee Valley Park. 

 Everyone is encouraged to walk as though they are a bit late for an appointment – in other words, just a little bit faster than usual. As everyone’s normal walking speeds varies enormously - from 1mph to over 4mph - the group usually spreads out very quickly. But each person walks at a pace, which is right for them and is asked not to try and keep up with faster people in the group! You don’t need to be fit or able to walk fast to be a volunteer.

 There are 6 permanent part time paid leaders supported by a team of volunteers. There will be at least one of the permanent leaders on every walk. They usually act as the front leader and rear escort, with the volunteer leaders walking more in the middle of the group (because this is usually well spread out) but we currently really need

 Lifewalks volunteers can be a:

 

  • “Meeter and greeter”
  • Mentor/
  • Middle leader
  • Front leader
  • Rear escort

 

 


 

Skills

Lifewalks volunteers can be a:

 

  • “Meeter and greeter”
  • Mentor/
  • Middle leader
  • Front leader
  • Rear escort

 Meeter and greeter”

Your main tasks are to look out for anyone coming along for the first time; introduce yourself, introduce the new walker to the other leaders and to two or three experienced walkers in a similar age group.

 

Help them complete the safety questionnaire, give them the in case of an emergency card and to register. Stay with them until the walk sets off – explain how the walk will be organised, give advice on “Lifewalks pace”, emphasise the need to walk slightly faster than they usually do but not to try and keep up with faster people.

Generally chat to them and help them feel part of the group.

Meeters and greeters can also check in existing Lifewalkers on the register.

 


Middle of the group leader

 

Because everyone walks at their own pace, the group spreads out very quickly and often over a long distance. This means those walkers around the middle of the group are likely to be out of sight and earshot of both the front leader and rear escort. So we also need volunteer leaders to keep an eye on, and provide support to these “middle pace” walkers. The main tasks are to:

 

  • Stop people from walking too fast.
  • Encourage people who are clearly not walking fast enough to speed up just a little so that they do benefit.
  • Stay with anyone who becomes ill or has a problem until the rear escort (first aider) catches up with you.
  • Escort back to the start anyone who is unable, or who does not want to go round the whole route. 
  • Keep an eye on any new walkers – have the occasional chat on the way round; answer any questions they may have; just generally help them settle in etc.

Front leader

The front leader walks at the pace of the fastest person there that day (rather than setting the pace). They are also responsible for making sure no one gets lost on the way round! So the essential skills you need to be a front leader are:

 

  • Full knowledge of the route.
  • Ability to walk FAST (4mph) for at least 30 minutes.
  • Recognised emergency first aid qualification.

 

All leaders receive an information pack on all the routes (map and written directions for each one). New volunteers learn the routes either by doing them on their own 2 or 3 times or just by doing them as part of Lifewalks.  Once a year we run a one-day Emergency First Aid course (formal qualification) for leaders who need to obtain this.  But if you have a current, recognised first aid qualification already, that’s fine (If we could just have a copy).

Rear escort

The rear escort walks at the pace of the slowest person there that day. That may be very slow so you must be prepared - and able (can give some people backache) -  to just amble along with them. Rear escorts also need to be qualified in first aid.

 

Walkers at the back of the group are more likely to be new and/or have problems with walking (breathlessness, arthritis, asthma, post surgery or just plain scared that they are going to develop a problem). So the rear escort needs to have good “people skills” –the ability to motivate and encourage but without the walker feeling pressurised; knowing when to chat and when not to; the ability to make people believe their “problem” really is one that Lifewalks will help them either overcome or at least deal with better.

 

 

 


Details

  • Accessibility
  • Data Protection policy
  • DBS check required
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 26/05/2021

End Date: 28/07/2022

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Afternoon No No No No No No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

As a volunteer, you will be welcome however often you can come along to help. We do not ask that you come out on a set number of days, or on a particular day each week, but if you can commit to a regular day that is very helpful. We will simply be pleased to see you when you turn up!


Location

This opportunity is available in: Epping


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