What we're about
Wellness Friends is a group for all those who need an uplift and want to join a friendly group of people who support each other and enjoy local walks. We hope to give members the opportunity to have group exercise which helps to build confidence and offers a feeling of belonging while supporting your wellness. Our walks are open to all, just bring along a friendly disposition and you will be made very welcome. We are a self-help group where members help and support each other.
We do ask for donations towards group running costs and we suggest a minimum of £1 for members/walk and £2 for non members friends/guests/walk. Helpers/carers are free and members on low incomes receiving benefits are also not expected to contribute (please bring along some form of confirmation). We do also expect all members to participate and to attend at least one event within in a 6 month period and new members to RSVP and attend a scheduled event in there first 3 months of membership. Please read the 'Message Board' under 'Discussions' where you will find important information about the group and membership.
The walks predominately take place around the Southampton area (South West Hampshire) and are accessible by public transport. The walks range approximately from 1.5 mile to 3.5 miles and are at a relatively slow pace and generally with short breaks along the way. Our slowest walkers set the pace. If you attend a walk it is assumed that you feel that you are fit enough and well enough to participate on the day. We will, of course, do our best to help and support all members, however, you are responsible for your own health,safety and actions. The group or it's organisers accept NO liability for any injury, loss or damage.
Sometimes exercise or group based activities seem like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference. Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
Feel free to bring along friends/helpers. Dogs are very welcome as long as they are friendly and owners are able to keep them under control. Dogs are great friends to people with depression and anxiety and are equally valued.
We would like members to help organise, lead and back-mark the walks. Any old or new members who'd like to show us new routes. Peoples local knowledge and insights can be really interesting.
We try to schedule walks that are accessible and not to far to walk or difficult to get to. So If any member knows some new walks that we haven't done before or anybody has any ideas, please do make a suggestion.
This group has given and continues to give encouragement, acceptance, understanding and empathy with a spirit of friendship and comradery. We are a inclusive group that recognises that many of us have health issues, such as low mood, depression and anxiety and various other mental health issues that impacts on our every day life that can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and desperation. Our walks and ethos aim to give a little pleasure to readdress the balance and hopefully after a few meetups the feeling of looking forward to seeing friends while enjoying the fresh air outdoors ! :-)
Please, do come along. You will be made very welcome and be with others who understand and care.