Word on Health

In Profile - Sheila's Story

Sheila Seymour, 72, from Rainford used to walk to school every day. She tells us why she thinks today’s generation of schoolchildren are missing out. 

“When I was young I always walked to school and enjoyed it.  In fact, I still love walking. It is an activity that fills my life and stimulates my senses each day. Walking to school as a child was a time for meeting friends, talking and laughing together. I learned independence and a lot about road safety. Daily walks kept us all fit and healthy. My grandchildren’s generation miss out on this valuable experience, which is a shame.

Walking makes it possible to see all sorts of diverse things – from what’s in fashion, to changing seasons and observing all that’s happening in the neighbourhood. Walking to school, which is not so easy to do these days, is such an important and comprehensive learning experience that it does need to be put on the Government agenda.

Congestion outside school gates, speeding traffic, bins on pavements and a general feeling that children are not safe on roads are some of the reasons that parents these days do not always walk their children to school.

“Nothing is insoluble and work can be done to make the problems less significant. Together we need to raise the profile of the immense benefits of walking and appeal to David Cameron to make walking to school a top priority. Getting more people, young and old, on their feet and out walking can transform neighbourhoods, making them safer, friendlier places to be. Walking helps us to keep fit and healthy, whatever our age.

When I used to walk my daughters’ to school they would skip ahead, chattering away, while I struggled along with the school bags and discarded coats, talking to the other mums. It was such an enjoyable, important time of day for my family. I don’t want the young children of today to miss out on this. So let us do all we can to make it easier for all children, parents, carers and grandparents to walk to school.” 

Living Streets is the charity for everyday walking. We want to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness and social isolation and making walking the natural choice. We believe that a walking nation means progress for everyone.

Our ambition is to get people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings and to ensure all our streets are fit for walking. 

For more than 85 years we’ve been a beacon for walking. In our early days our campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits. Now our campaigns and local projects deliver real change to overcome barriers to walking and our ground breaking initiatives such as the world’s biggest ‘Walk to School campaign’ encourage millions of people to walk.

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