Getting out and Active in Bradford
Bradford is a GOGA locality and through consultation with local communities they recognised a need for a new opportunity to engage with a number of individuals. This was the beginning of the Walk this Way initiative, an accessible walk programme aimed at inactive individuals to get out and active in Bradford. Follow the story on how GOGA Bradford developed the programme.
Funded by Spirit of 2012, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) supports disabled and non‑disabled people to take part in fun and inclusive activities together. The programme aims to make activity more appealing for all and working together with partners to increase the number of people accessing physical activity local opportunities.
Walk this Way aims to support individuals in Bradford to be able to access inclusive walks in and around the most beautiful parts of Bradford and West Yorkshire. Knowing there was a gap in provision, GOGA Bradford took the lead and invited local walk leaders and potential participants to come together and discuss the idea around the walks.
From this a local group was formed consisting of people of varied ages and abilities whose responsibility was to plan routes and points of interest where they would like the walks to take them. Through these discussions, the group developed various walks and also had the idea to produce easy read versions of the maps, photos and doodles to make walks more appealing and accessible for all.
They added, “No need for a compass - just follow the pictures!”.
To take this unique idea forward an artist was invited to join the group on the walks and over the weeks created maps, drawings of the most accessible routes, best viewing points and any local amenities such as toilets, coffee stops and independent shops. Once completed these maps would then be available in various formats for any groups or individuals wanting to attend the walk.
Every walk started from Shipley in Bradford and individuals used public transport as a group to access the walks together as this was a perceived barrier for some. To date the group has visited, Bolton abbey, River Ribble and Balidon Moor.
GOGA Bradford used a variety of marketing tools to invite and encourage participants to join the initial group and participate in the walks, this included Facebook adverts, community talks and introducing the walks in the GOGA peer mentor programme. The structure of the walks appealed to many participants as it mixed physical activity and non-physical activity together (as well as the hot chocolate and nibbles!). It gave individuals the opportunity to travel together, meet new people and enjoy the social benefits. Through the sessions, GOGA Bradford have gained fantastic feedback, particularly around how accessible the walks have been.
As a wheelchair user I was skeptical on how I would be able to enjoy the sights in and around Bolton abbey; however the walk leaders were amazing! They found all the accessible routes for me and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part. I now feel I could enjoy the walk alone or with friends, and I will
Walk this way is a fantastic programme, we were able to head out as a family and the walk leaders were so welcoming and made us feel included in the group. I have arthritis and I was worried that I would not be able to keep up but we all walked and stopped for breaks as a group. It was amazing
The group accessed their final walk of the year on Saturday 24 November 2018 around Saltaire and Shipley Glen with 15 in attendance. The group finished the walk with a ride through the forest on the only volunteer led cable car in Yorkshire. Next year the walks will be continuing with the group starting to look further afield to North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales and the lakes. All routes will begin from Bradford and the route will be planned together using public transport and accessible for all.