Organising walks for asylum seekers

Mole Valley Ramblers are offering the wellbeing benefits of walking to asylum seekers in Surrey

The benefits of walking are well known to many of us: it’s enjoyable, it’s good for your health and it’s a great way of connecting with others.  But asylum seekers simply do not have the opportunity to get out for a walk.  So Mole Valley Ramblers are giving asylum seekers in Surrey the opportunity to get out walking in the beautiful Surrey Hills. 

Surrey Police approached Mole Valley Ramblers to enquire about the possibility of arranging some walks for asylum seekers.  The men are housed in a remote hotel near Gatwick, with no access to public transport.  The asylum seekers may be newly arrived or may have been at the hotel for a year.  Living in a small, confined space, often suffering from trauma and with no certainty of their future, the men can feel isolated, stressed and bored, with many experiencing depression.  

By organising regular walks, Mole Valley Ramblers have been able to offer the refugees the chance to spend time in nature and connect with others.  The positive impact has been immediately visible.  The refugees have also participated in conservation volunteering activities as a way of giving back to the local community. 


Watch the video to learn more 

In this video, Fiona and Louise of Mole Valley Ramblers share the personal impact the walks have had on them as walk leaders, as well as the participants.  Fiona and Louise also explain how they have overcome challenges.  These include the limited clothing and footwear the men have, as well as language barriers communicating with people from as far afield as India, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa and central America.   

Mole Valley ramblers standing on a bridge in a forest whilst walking with asylum seekers


Get in touch 

If your walking group is organising similar walks for marginalised groups, please contact us as we would love to hear about your experience.  And if you would like to learn more about how Mole Valley Ramblers have organised their walks, Fiona’s contact details are at the end of the video. 

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