Ramblers vice-chair joins the great outdoors debate

Naseem Akhtar

We all love the outdoors, but is there anything that could make it even more enjoyable? And how can the Ramblers help make it happen? We’ve started a big conversation with people all over the country to help us decide what we should be doing for everyone over the next ten years and Naseem Akhtar, our vice-chair, has joined the debate.

“I believe the Ramblers has to fully embrace the challenge of an overweight population and look to help people discover walking as a way to get healthier” says Naseem. “Most of us are now overweight or obese in England, including almost a third of children under the age of 16.”

Naseem helped to set up the Saheli Women’s Group in Birmingham in 1998 to offer women-only exercise sessions for members of Balsall Heath’s Asian community and, with Sport England funding, opened the Saheli Adventure Hub gym in 2006 which went on to run short walks for patients referred from local GPs.

Through this she began working with us on our Get Walking Keep Walking project, aimed at encouraging people to walk more as part of their daily lives, and joined our Board of Trustees in 2010. Now she’s helping to shape the future of the Ramblers and the work we do by joining the great outdoors debate and she’s inviting you to get involved too.

“By doing this, together with our great work to protect paths, access and the places we like to go walking, the Ramblers will truly be an organisation that offers something to everyone” says Naseem, who became our vice-chair earlier this year.

So how can you join in? Over the coming months, we’ll be in gear shops, pubs and parks, on hilltops, paths and beaches, talking to everyone who likes to get outdoors. You can also give us your views online or download a discussion pack to start your own debate.

Whether you think, like Naseem, that tackling obesity needs to be firmly on the Ramblers agenda, or if you believe issues such as climate change need to be top of our list, we want to hear from you. Join Naseem and go all out to tell us what we can do to make your outdoors great, and we’ll work with you to make it happen.

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