Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “It is brilliant that this year there is a 40 per cent increase in the number of schools in Hampshire taking part in the ‘Walktober’ challenge, this equates to 39,474 pupils and staff. The challenge is about promoting walking to improve wellbeing and encourages people to walk as much as possible during the month of October.
“Each year, different themes and challenges are set for schools. This year, the focus is on the Five Ways to Wellbeing
- (Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give and Be Mindful).
“Walking to school can help children be more active and arrive at school more alert, improving general health and wellbeing, while at the same time easing congestion at the school gates at busy times and improving air quality. Walking to school can help teach children life-long road safety skills as they learn from their parents and carers how to crossroads and be aware of cars and cyclists.”
Toolkits have been developed for schools, their staff and families, to engage in activities around walking that link to being outdoors and being active, and in turn link to wellbeing. These consist of tasks such as the Autumn Alphabet – where children, parents and staff are encouraged to find on a walk something that begins with each letter of the alphabet. A launch assembly has been provided and competitions have also been offered where families can win vouchers for days out to places including the Winchester Science Centre and Calshot Activities Centre and schools can win wellie storage and a Hampshire Trailblazers training course.
Walktober is part of the County Council’s year-round initiatives to promote active, healthy and sustainable travel to school including road safety awareness.