£70k windfall to help befriending walkers

Walking Befriending Project
Walking Befriending Project

A cash windfall of more than £70,000 is to help older people in the city become more active.

Age UK Milton Keynes has been given £71,964 National Lottery funding from Sport England to run a two-year Walking Befrienders project to help reduce the number of inactive older adults.

Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy Towards An Active Nation, and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.

Age UK Milton Keynes’ project will support older people living in Milton Keynes who have experienced a significant life event, such as bereavement or illness, which has put them at risk of isolation and/or loneliness.

The project will train volunteer befrienders to accompany an older person on a short walk near their home. By providing encouragement and friendly support, the walking befriender will help people overcome barriers which might be preventing them from being active in later life.

Mike Diaper, executive director at Sport England, said: “Being active is one of the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age. We’re delighted to support Age UK MK with National Lottery funding.”