Blog: Jenny, Walk and Talk Volunteer

Home Bristol Walkfest News Blog: Jenny, Walk and Talk Volunteer

My name is Jenny and I regularly take part in walks through my volunteer work with the ‘Walk & Talk’ service offered by the Carers Support Centre.

I was a carer for my husband for 7 years and, after his death in 2022, I was at a loss as to what to do with my free time. I saw an advert saying that a new walking group would be starting soon and, although lthough I was no longer a carer, I was invited to join the group anyway. At first, I went on walks around my local area in Hanham with the walk leader and other carers, but then I was invited to join as a volunteer. Since then I have taken part in 12 walks around Bristol.

The walks are for people who have cared for a family member. They take place over a 6-week period and are each about 90 minutes long. We go at a steady pace and walk in parks and forests, along cycle tracks and beside rivers. Every walk is different.

I’ve met lots of new people and made some new friends through these walks. As well as being good exercise, the walks give people a chance to talk and share their problems with others – anything said always remains just within the group.

As the walks are over a 6-week period, we notice how the area changes with the season. In spring, blossoms start opening on the trees, snowdrops appear and the birds start to sing. In the autumn we can enjoy the changing colours of the leaves. It’s so uplifting and everyone says how much better they feel after a walk. It’s nice for everyone to have some time for themselves but also to have the opportunity to talk to others who understand how difficult and lonely being a carer can be.

Jenny (right) is a volunteer with the Carers Support Centre

As a volunteer, I’m always there to walk at the pace of the slowest walker. If needed, we can sit and talk while the remainder of the group walks on. Our walks usually return by the same route so we can catch up with the rest of the walkers later. I carry a rucksack with cold drinks and sunscreen on hot days, and hot drinks, gloves, scarves and a survival blanket on colder days.

We have taster walks so carers can come along and see if they would like to join the group. Being a carer means you’re not always free to come on every walk, but everyone is welcome whenever they can make it.

These walks have helped me a lot over the past few years. They’re a way to overcome loneliness and they help me to appreciate the great outdoors.

Join the Carers Support Centre on Thursday 9th May for a walk at Blaise Castle – this walk is for unpaid carers, a relaxed opportunity to enjoy nature and a nice chat with other fellow carers.

Mon 8 April 2024
Last Updated
Fri 12 April 2024