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A MELKSHAM walking group is promoting the social benefits of joining them for a walk.
Get Wiltshire Walking Melksham meets every Monday at 9.30am outside the tourist information office, Church Street.
The Melksham group was one of the first walking groups established by Wiltshire Council in 2010 when it launched Get Wiltshire Walking.
Walks coordinator for Wiltshire Council, Rosie Golding, told Melksham News, “In the early days we maybe had 5 or 6 people attend the walk. Today we are more likely to have around 35-40 people.
“As with all our get Wiltshire Walking groups they walk for around an hour then all go and have coffee and a chat together – this part of the activity is very important and where this project goes a long way to helping prevent social isolation.”
Through attending the Melksham group, local men, Brian O’Keeffe and Roy Cockbill, have become firm friends.
Rosie explains, “Brian joined the weekly walk in Melksham in 2012 and shortly afterwards, he agreed to train as a walk leader.
“In 2016 Roy was invited to join the Melksham group by another walker and enjoyed the experience so much that he, together with Brian and several others from the group, began to travel across to Devizes every Friday to walk with that group.
“More recently Roy has also trained to help us lead these free weekly walks.
“Over time the two chaps have become great friends sharing many different interests; Roy loves photography and is also a keen wildlife photographer, whilst Brian enjoys antiques, car boot sales and trawling eBay for that ever elusive pot of gold!
“One interest they share is their love of history and all things historic.
“Not surprising then that recently they have purchased museum season tickets which will allow them access to a host of different exhibitions and museums across the country, sharing transport costs and enjoying one another’s company.
“You can see how this wonderful walking project is bringing likeminded people together to share hobbies, pastimes and all manner of social occasions.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the weekly walks please visit the website at: www.wilt shire.gov.uk/leisure-cycling -walking-and-running