East Park Buggy Walk - COVID-19 update

Posted 23rd March 2021

From Monday 29 March, organised outdoor sport will be permitted once again. This means that Fitmums & Friends’ buggy walks in East Park can restart. Full details of when, where and how we will be restarting the walks are below.

We will be using several Covid-19 precautions, including booking places, a group size limit, maintaining a distance of 2m from fellow walkers and from members of the public, and carrying a face covering. These precautions are explained in detail below and are intended to keep everyone as safe as possible. So please read this info before attending a buggy walk.

Supporting our buggy walkers

Things have been tough and we understand that some of our members may feel anxious about returning to activity or need a little extra support to get active again. We can help:

  • We can arrange a chat with one of our volunteers, on the phone or via Zoom, to put you at ease before you come back to buggy walks.
  • We can meet you in the car park so that you have someone to walk to the meeting point with.
  • We can put you in touch with one of our In the Pink volunteers who will meet you, talk through how we can support you and attend up to three Fitmums & Friends sessions with you.
  • We can offer financial support through the Mike Barlow Memorial Fund.

All you need to do is get in touch – email Vickie (admin@fitmums.org.uk).

Please read the following information carefully before coming to a buggy walk. It is split into two sections: the first explains how walks are now organised, and the second runs through what you need to know and do before coming to a walk. You may also find our reopening FAQs helpful.

We hope our approach reassures you as to the safety measures we have in place to protect our members, volunteers and local community at this time. Of course, we are relying on every everyone's cooperation to ensure that we stay safe and open.

Thank you.

How are buggy walks organised now?

Our East Park buggy walks will restart on Thursday 15 April.

The walks will be led by Coach Gemma and the group size will be limited to 12 adults (the limit does not include children). In order to allocate places fairly and in compliance with current restrictions on the number of people who may exercise together, we are operating a booking system for the walks. To book a place, please complete our East Park Buggy Walk booking form each week that you would like to come to the next buggy walk. Bookings will open on a Friday and close on a Wednesday before the next day's walk – you will not be able to book outside these times. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you receive a place, you will then receive a booking confirmation email; if unfortunately you do not get a place one week, you will be prioritised the following week. If you have not been to a buggy walk before or if you have any queries about booking (or anything else buggy-related), please email gemma@fitmums.org.uk before booking.

We will be meeting outside the café in East Park. Initially, we will have no access to toilets or any other indoor facilities.

We will be meeting at 09:25am for a 09:30am start. Please arrive on time, find your leader, and sign in via Mumbot – please remember to bring your code for scanning.

We want all of our walkers to feel safe at sessions. For this reason, please make sure that you social distance and follow all other guidelines throughout the session. If a leader, or another walker, needs to remind you about maintaining social distancing, please do not be upset by this – it is intended to protect you and your fellow members.

As always, the leader will begin the session with the checklist chat. Please listen carefully as the checklist chat now also includes important COVID-19 messages. So that you can familiarise yourself with these before your first session, please read the new checklist chat here or watch it here.

After the warm up, your group will set out on the buggy walk. Please listen to your leader throughout the walk. To maintain social distancing, he/she may organise the group before setting off; and may need to give more and firmer directions and instructions on route. These may be spoken or hand signals – which are demonstrated here.

Please maintain a social distance of 2m from your fellow walkers at all times. We must also maintain a social distance of 2m from any other park users. It is our responsibility to move out of their way. If necessary, we will slow down or stop while they pass, making sure to give them at least 2m of space.

To keep the group together, we will shepherd where there is enough space to do so and maintain 2m between all members. Where this is not possible, the front walkers will enable the group to come back together by circling where there is space to do so.

The session will finish with a group stretch – socially-distanced, of course! After that, please go home promptly. We know you will want to stay and chat, but it is important that we don’t have large groups congregating – for your safety and so that our walks can continue. Instead, check back in on our Facebook page for all the feel-good photos once you get home.

What else do I need to know before I come back to buggy walks?

Just a couple of things:

  • Keeping our participants as safe as possible and keeping our walks open requires everyone to comply with current guidance. To that end, we are asking all of our members to agree to our COVID-19 Code of Conduct. Please read this carefully here before attending a buggy walk. By attending a buggy walk, you will be agreeing to abide by this code of conduct.
  • Please bring and carry a face covering with you. You will not need to wear it while walking. But if one of the group has a minor accident and needs help, we will wear our face coverings so that we can give and receive help. Again, this is to protect you and your fellow walkers.
  • Please ensure your emergency contact details are up-to-date in Mumbot.
  • Please plan to look after your own belongings, including car keys.
  • And finally, feel free to wear your Fitmums & Friends kit to walks!
group of walkers walking along a path in a park
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