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On Saturday September 28th 2019, our Walk4 Health Group had the honour to welcome the London Caribbean Trekkers Group to Sheffield.
The two groups are bonded by mutual understanding and a common vision – ‘walking to promote their health and wellbeing’.
They had a social get together meal at the Mamputari Tava Restaurant on London Road in Sheffield on Friday September 27th 2019.
The next morning the Caribbean Trekkers joined our Walk4 Health Group on a 9 mile walk starting from the Longshaw Estate to Stanage Edge and Burbage in the Eastern Moors. Although the weather wasn’t that excellent that didn’t deter us rambling across the Eastern Moors walking and talking.
The organiser of the Caribbean Trekkers Oveta McInnis said “we’re very glad to join the Sheffield Walk4 Health Group to undertake this historical walk in the Peak District National Park. And though we do have lots of beautiful parks in some parts of London where we often go walking on the first Sunday of every month, those parks are very small as compared to what you have here – the Peak District National Park” “Our group which have been in existence for 7 years now have undertaken other walks to the Lake District, Wales and Mam Tor in the Peak District in the past”.
She continued, “this walk is only the beginning of more collaborative walks to come in the future not only for our two groups but to help set up more Black walking Groups across the UK. And hopefully we will one day have hundreds if not thousands of Black people rambling across these beautiful landscapes for health and wellbeing”. “We look forward to the Sheffield Walk4 Health Group joining us in the near future to undertake a similar walk in London. Oveta explained that some of the Caribbean Trekkers have either been to watch the much acclaimed Black Men Walking play which was inspired by the Sheffield 100 Black Men Walking Group and now called the Walk4 Health Group.
Maxwell Ayamba, Co-Founder of the Black Men Walk for Health Group now Walk4 Health Group said, “we’re indeed very honoured to have the opportunity of meeting and walking with the London Caribbean Trekkers”. He noted that although the Black Men Walking play did increase some form of awareness however, Black people have walked this land for centuries but their histories and presence on this land has always remained invisible and unwritten”. It now time for Black people to take ownership of the ways which they wish to engage or access countryside spaces to promote health and wellbeing – we don’t want a culture of dependency because we are human and can do things for ourselves”.
Maxwell concluded that it is the vision of both groups, to go to various parts of the UK meet up other Black groups to set up independent walking groups where Black people can become inspired to go walking in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is also our vision to encourage more young people to join these walking groups so that we can pass on this knowledge and heritage”. “Our motivation is a moral and civic duty to leave a good legacy which will help to bring about the much needed societal transformation in this era of the anthropocene”, he concluded.
In early October, SEM’s Maxwell Ayamba travels to Manchester to meet Sarah and Luis from the charity Gift Your Gear receives a much needed donation of outdoor walking gear.
Maxwell says; “I’ve been visiting Sarah at Gift Your Gear for a number of years now and its great visit, to share news and to receive such amazing support!”
This donation of coats, walking sticks, warm fleeces, backpacks and walking boots aids SEM’s core aim which is to enable a diverse range of community groups to access the countryside.
Gift Your Gear supports community organisations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. The outdoor gear you donate makes a real difference enabling life changing experiences in the great outdoors, regardless of circumstance.
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