Lahari moved to Sheffield from Hyderabad, India, to study an MBA at Sheffield Hallam University.
“I didn’t really get a chance to go out walking in the village I grew up in, and especially not in Hyderabad - a big, polluted city.
Now I take the Peak District for granted because it’s on our doorstep, but we all realise how lucky we are to have it.
I came here knowing nobody and the university circles were not where I wanted to be, mainly because everyone was a bit younger than me. Staying in Sheffield after studying was certainly not part of the plan. I even considered going back halfway through my course because I just couldn’t cope, but then one of my Indian friends who is now back in India suggested joining a walking group.
In a university, it’s a little bit of a bubble and I was desperate to break out of that and learn about the local community and what makes people tick here.
Being part of the Ramblers has been a massive help in establishing my personal network in the UK.
I am very proud to say that our group has done so much for vulnerable people over the years. I’ve seen so many people who, if it wasn’t for the group, they’d have nowhere else to go and socialise and get out and about.
I keep saying it to everybody. It is underrated how much walking and being in touch with green spaces keeps you well mentally.
I’m having a busy and stressful day, I just take 15 minutes to get out into the park across the road. That 15 minutes’ walk changes my mood completely and relaxes me. I don’t think I’d be able to do that if it wasn’t for the green space.”
Lahari is a member of the Sheffield Young Walkers group. You can start walking with a local Ramblers group in your area. Find a walk near you.