THE Derrygonnelly and District Partnership committee has set up a walking group where members of the local community can enjoy some physical experience in a safe and happy environment.
Devised by James Graydon-Rhodes, who is now the chairman of the local community group, devised the ‘Derrygonnelly Walkers and Talkers’ group and the attendance and popularity of the group has gone from strength to strength.
“We meet every Tuesday for our walks and it is open to all ages,” said the District Partnership spokesman, “the group was set up by myself, mainly for friendship, community support and mental health (purposes), but we have walkers for all different reasons.”
Group members meet up weekly and are seen sporting Hi Viz vests as they pound the footpaths around the village. James feels that it is important that keen walkers in the District Partnership have a safe place to enjoy their exercise and physical activity.
“We have around 10 to 15 members who join us every week, although there is no commitment to come every week. It’s all very casual,” said the Derrygonnelly resident.
“The aim of our walks are simple. They’re nice and easy walks and it’s a great way to distress and enjoy the lovely company. It’s always a good laugh and craic at the back, and ultimately it’s about getting out in the fresh air and great for our mental health.”
And there ‘Walkers and Talkers’ group does not judge any members of participants on their level of walking ability.
“It’s not about the walk or the distance, it’s just the fact that we do it all together,” explained James.
“Last year, we raised around £2,000 for Cancer Research NI from a sponsored five kilometre walk at Ely Lodge, and on a Saturday walk, we love to have a picnic and a cuppa, so it’s all about the social aspects too.”
The Derrygonnelly and District Community Partnership chairman feels that the future is bright for the ‘Walkers and Talkers’ group.
“The group is always growing,” said James, “we will be having another sponsored walk later this year and will select a local charity soon. The group will look forward to welcoming new members and each week is exciting.”
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