Keep on walking

13 September, 2020

Hello everyone,

A number of you have been in touch with me to ask how the recent government rule changes will impact Freshwalks, so I wanted to update you with our position.

I’d like to assure everyone that the safety of Freshwalkers and those we interact with on our travels is our No.1 priority. We are currently in the process of heavily investing once again in improving our risk management procedures and walk leader training.

As you know, Freshwalks helps our community improve its physical fitness. It also protects mental health and provides our guests with much needed human interaction at a distance in these challenging times. A safe place to walk and talk.

Freshwalks connects businesses, creating opportunities for growth, collaboration and innovation. The government is still urging people to get safely back to work and balancing the needs of the economy with controlling the virus is of course a delicate task. We will continue to operate within official guidance on this matter.


Image by Jill Jennings


Relevant guidance

The latest changes allow a number of exceptions to this new rule of six. Two of which are relevant for Freshwalks:-

  • for work, and voluntary or charitable services
  • organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise

This makes clear that the rule changes do not impact Freshwalks – certainly not the core walking aspect of the event. The government, Sport England and BMC all concur on this point (see Notes).

As a responsible business, we continue to monitor the recent increase in community cases and will continue to observe and enhance Covid-19 secure protocols for our events.

Food and drink

For many, the traditional food and drink experience, either during or at the end of our walks, is an intrinsic part of Freshwalks.

Additionally, Freshwalkers need to refuel. The mid-walk picnic is a safe outdoors necessity, essential for the safety of the group as walkers need to ensure suitable energy intake. We’ll continue to do so, socially distanced and with enhanced protocols around the sharing of food.

However, we recognise the confusion which might arise at the end of a walk. Until further notice, Freshwalks events will now formally end with the walk itself unless we can arrange to continue the business event safely in a private space so we can protect and manage the safety of our guests and anyone staffing the event.

Should individuals choose to eat or drink at a nearby establishment, they can, of course, do so at their own discretion in groups no bigger than six.

We trust the Freshwalks community will respect venue rules and protect both the safety of fellow guests, staff and the general public.

Our priorities remain your safety, your comfort and your overall Freshwalks experience. I’ve included some FAQs below though if you’ve any further queries, please contact me through the usual channels.

I’ll see you soon. Keep on walking.

Thank you.

Michael Di Paola
Founder – Freshwalks.

 

Image of Cath smiling in the hills

 

FAQs

Why is physical wellbeing and fitness more important than ever?

As part of tackling the current public health challenge, the government is placing priority on policies that enable people to keep fit and improve their own health and wellbeing.

A recent study concluded that people with obesity and Covid-19 were twice as likely to end up in hospital and 74% more likely to be admitted to intensive care. They were also more at risk of dying from the disease caused by coronavirus.


Why can’t we continue to go for food and drink as a large group?

Though 100% part of the organised business event, unfortunately we risk blending into social activities the government is now regulating.

Even if larger groups are carefully segregated into smaller groups of six, this happening within a public space might put our guests and venue staff in confused and uncomfortable situations.


What about supporting local operators?

Since venues reopened, we’ve done so safely, often sat outside cafes or pubs in smaller groups. We’ve always committed to supporting independent operators, providing much needed custom during off-peak opening times – typically quiet midweek afternoons when venues have the space to accommodate and isolate us, well away from other customers. As soon as we are able to do this again safely, we will continue to do so.

 

Notes:

Sport England states on their website:

While social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from 14 September, the government’s confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue, as can organised outdoor sports and physical activity events such as parkrun, which is due to return next month.

BMC states on their website that:

“that organised club meets will be able to take place with more than 6 people attending (still with an absolute maximum of 30 people)”.

Additionally, the government’s detailed ‘Meeting with others safely’ guidance continues to clarify that you should “meet people outdoors where practical: meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors because fresh air provides better ventilation”

 

What others have said since Freshwalks resumed:

“From both of us a real heartfelt thank you. Today was brilliant. We had a cracking day and want you to know how much of a good time we had, how well organised you’d got things re Covid and also to have those mentors on hand all day was a super move too. Thank you, we were nothing but complimentary of the whole day.”

“However, better late than never I hope, I wanted to say a massive thank you for organising that day! Fabulous day all around – a great bunch of people, a superb walk with such stunning views, good chat, great exercise and refresh for the body and mind, and lovely food to round it all off! And of course, we were even looked after well with the weather!! Brilliant!”

“Great to meet you all yesterday and I must say an absolute pleasure to have your group here. We hope you enjoyed the experience. We will always do our best to accommodate you and look forward to being of service again.”

View All Blogs

Share

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email