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Stepping Out: Walks for Carers

Deal: 24 August 2018

Clare Balding and a number of Britain’s greatest Olympic athletes have lined up to praise ‘Stepping Out’, project to offer health-inducing, stress-busting, scenic, sociable walks to carers and those they support.

Following one of the project’s best-attended walks of the year at Deal during the White Cliffs Walking Festival: Clare Balding tweeted to her 700k followers: “This is such a great idea - a walking community for carers and those they care for.”

Tom Bosworth, Kent-born Olympian, Commonwealth Games silver medalist and world record holder in race walking, said: “I’m honoured to support such a great initiative.

“For me stepping out of the door on a rainy morning to go training can be tough, let alone for those confined to 4 walls. A walk and some fresh air can have amazing effects on a person’s physical and mental well-being.”

Olympic javellin bronze medalist, Goldie Sayers, and 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey, who represented Team GB at both the Beijing and London Games, also signalled their backing of the ground-breaking project founded in Deal in 2016.

The sports stars have been enlisted to help the spread the news that the walks take place monthly at specially-chosen venues all over the county, with good wheelchair access and well-chosen routes by members of the Kent Ramblers.

“Thank you for such a lovely day,” said Julia Cordrey, one of the carers on a recent walk. “I really enjoyed the invigorating walk, chatting with people and the superb lunch. It did me a power of good, having had such a poor month or two caring for my husband, who has vascular dementia, and the many challenges that presents! Stepping Out provides a very welcome oasis in what can be a very dry caring desert!

It was so lovely just to be normal.”

Clearly a leading feature of the walks remains one of their longest-serving members. Clare Balding retweeted a photograph of the stalwart and added: “Bernard the caring cockapoo is a key part of the gang.”