Keeping walk-lovers connected during lockdown

#RoamSweetHome 

With staying active more important than ever during current the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’, for both mental and physical health, a multi-faceted new campaign called #RoamSweetHome has been launched.

#RoamSweetHome encourages everyone to keep active safely for leisure, health and happiness close to home and at home – whatever they can safely do – as well as inspiring and connecting everyone who loves walking and the outdoors. 

Tapping into the brilliant community spirit, creativity, ideas and energy shown by Ramblers’ supporters and its 100,000 members right across Great Britain, since it sadly had to suspend all its group walks, social activities and volunteering programmes on 18 March, #RoamSweetHome offers lots of great advice, activities and entertainment, all in line with official Government guidance on social distancing and safe exercising. #RoamSweetHome includes: 

  • Resources and information to help the Ramblers 500 groups across the UK stay connected with their members, via ‘telephone trees’, message boards, email groups, online conference calls, virtual coffee mornings and much more. 
  • A Ramblers #RoamSweetHome step challenge. The Ramblers believes that the joy of walking can be felt anywhere -- from a hike up the stairs, a jog on the balcony, a stroll in the garden, to a wander in a nearby park that follows official guidelines on exercising**. Supporters everywhere are joining in, getting their ‘step counts’ up in the weeks and months ahead. They’ll be sharing their photos and experiences of getting active at home, in their gardens or out on their daily exercise, both online and on social media and via email. Find out more: www.ramblers.org.uk/roamsweethome 
    ** If you choose to walk for exercise you are advised to only walk locally to where you live. You should walk alone or with people from your household. You should not walk with friends or in groups. Keep 2m (6ft) distance from anyone you pass on your walk. 
  • Online advice on maintaining health and wellbeing under lockdown, including live chats and online blogs from health and nutrition experts. Members and supporters will also be sharing recipes old and new for walking snacks – trail mix, energy balls, summit cake and more. 
  • Sharing photos and stories about their favourite, pre-lockdown walking memories, as well as what walkers have spotted whilst out, locally and safely, for their daily exercise – signs of Spring, wildlife urban and rural and more!  
  • A Ramblers Great Walking Quiz, to be live streamed in the coming weeks using Facebook Live, with themed questions on Ramblers’ 85-year history, its campaigning work across Scotland, Wales and England, access and legal right across the three nations, the health benefits of walking, national trails and coast paths and much more.  

Gemma Cantelo, our head of advocacy and engagement said: “The Ramblers has been around for a long time, through tough days and the bright days. We will continue to fight for the rights of walkers, for the protection of our important green spaces and for the joys of walking. But together we’re stronger, and we wanted to do something to build on all the fantastic work our members have been doing locally since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began. #RoamSweetHome offers them lots of practical ways of staying safe, linking up, being inspired, keeping active and just having some much-needed fun.” 

Broadcaster, writer, journalist and RamblersGB president Stuart Maconie is backing #RoamSweetHome. He tweeted: “I’m about to get my steps in for @RamblersGB and thousands of walkers across the country to keep moving, one step at a time. People roaming close to home for health and happiness. Show me what fun ways you’re getting that step count up!”  

Louise Trewern from South Devon founded and leads, with her wife Karen, a Ramblers Walking For Health group for people with long-term health conditions. Like all other Ramblers, sadly their weekly group walks are currently suspended, but Louise is encouraging them to join in with #RoamSweetHome – she has been sharing home exercising video tips and advice for people living with pain or with limited mobility. She says: “#RoamSweetHome will be great fun, and will help to keep spirits up and people active!” 

The Ramblers’ latest COVID-19 advice for supporters, members and volunteers, which is being reviewed daily, can be found online at: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus