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WFW Virtual Walk 85
Northern Lights Virtual Walk - Wk 16
Current Location...

Vygreliai, Polish-Lituanian Border


Total miles walked...                                                1159.43


Miles till destination...                                              1066.57


 

This week's leaderboard

 

1. Richard... 14.7 miles
2. Lisa...11 miles
3. Steve...6.44 miles
4. Jackie...5.11 miles
5. Sharon...4 miles
 

With thanks to...


Francesca, Reka and Bobby the Cat


Who also contributed. 

Our progress so far...

Where are we now?  

Entering Lithuania
 

We are now entering Lithuania, the fifth country on our virtual journey. Chances are you don't know a huge amount about this small Baltic state, but it actually has an absolutely fascinating history. Did you know that it was one of the last places in Europe to adopt Christianity, and most people practiced paganism here until 1387? That at one point Lithuania was the largest state in Europe, and controlled a huge swathe of territory all the way down to the Black Sea?

The walking forecast should be nice and flat as we enter the country, as the highest point in Lithuania is 294 metres (for comparison, White Horse Hill, the highest point in Oxfordshire, is 261 metres!). The landscape will be miles and miles of deep, unspoilt forests dotted with still, tranquil lakes. Stunning!
Pictures from our walks this week
Lots of fantastic pictures from our readers this week, featuring daffodils, blossoms, a wander around C.S. Lewis nature reserve and a stroll around Wheatley...not to mention further adventures of Bobby the Cat!
About the virtual walk 
Back by popular demand, this winter we are doing a new virtual walking challenge to see you through the darkening days and long gloomy nights. Our special, extra wintry route takes us all the way to Lapland via the Baltic coast, taking in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.   As before, send in the number of miles you've walked each week and I will add them together with the other miles I receive to make a grand total. Hopefully together we can cover the 2,396 miles to Lapland over the next couple of months.  Submitting is easy, you just need to fill in this form: https://form.jotform.com/210061907549051.  Or feel free to email them in to this address (walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk).  We also LOVE to see photos of you out and about clocking up your miles, so please send those in and we will share them in the newsletter.  All submissions in to me by Thursday for inclusion in the next week's newsletter, please. 
Book onto an in-person walk 
If you've enjoyed our virtual newsletter, why not book on to an in-person walk?

We will still be asking coronavirus symptom questions and asking you to book before coming on a walk. However, we have now changed our booking system so you can book multiple walks at once! 

Please note these links are for existing participants only. If you have not come on a walk with us before, please get in contact with us first using the contact details below. 

Oxford 


 All Oxford walks meet outside The Mill, 46 Cowley Road, OX4 1HZ.

Tuesday booking link (use for all Tuesday walks)- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/164103125867
Thursday booking link (use for all Thursday walks)- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/164107490923

Banbury 

All Banbury walks meet outside Banbury Wellbeing Hub, Britannia Road, OX16 5DN.


Friday booking link (use for all Friday walks)-  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/164108351497

You can also book on by getting in touch with us on walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk or 07701372060.
 
Peer Support Group
We have set up a new virtual peer support group to help support each other with staying active through these uniquely challenging times. 

Would you like:
  • To share your love of nature with a group of like-minded individuals?
  • Help with goal-setting and friendly encouragement to keep going with physical activity?
  • Practical ideas for how to get more out of your walks and stave off boredom? 
Then this could be for you!

Please get in touch for more details including timings. 
We want to hear from you! 

We're always looking for new content for this newsletter! If you have something that you think our readers would like to see, we'd love to hear from you.

You could send in photos or videos of you out for your daily exercise, pictures of nice things you've seen, or even just a written message of support or tip for how you've been keeping active and maintaining your wellbeing--  anything that you think would be positive, helpful and encouraging.   If you have an idea for a walk location that would also always be welcome.

Please just don't reveal your home address, or take a photo or video of somebody else when you don't have their permission. 

If you would like to share something, just send it in to walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk, alongside a completed consent form, which you can download here

Virtual Walks Feedback Survey 
We want to know what you have thought of our virtual walks so far!

Your feedback helps us give you the best experience possible and prove that we are doing a good job so we can keep offering this service. 

If you have particularly enjoyed our virtual offer, have thoughts on what we could do better, or just have an idea for a good place to virtually walk, please fill out our survey: https://form.jotform.com/213252901388354
What is the latest government advice?

 Please check these links for the latest advice and further detail:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
 
What if I can't go outside? 

If you aren't able to go outside right now, there are things you can do to still keep active and get the benefits of nature in your life.

Sport England has gathered together some great resources to help you exercise in your home:

https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home

Suggestions for what you could do to get the benefits of the outdoors while inside (from https://www.oxfordshiremind.org.uk/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ ): 

  • Spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air.
  • Have flowers or potted plants in your home.
  • Use natural materials to decorate your living space, or use them in art projects. This could include leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds.
  • Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky, or watch birds and other animals. 
  • Grow plants or flowers on windowsills. For example, you could buy seeds online or look for any community groups that give away or swap them.
  • Look at photos of your favourite places in nature. Use them as the background on your mobile phone or computer screen, or print and put them up on your walls.
  • Listen to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall.
  • Get as much natural light as you can. Spend time in your garden if you have one, or open your front or back door and sit on the doorstep.

Remember as well that our Peer Support Group is always here for you!
Coronavirus and your wellbeing 

If you are worried about the effect that coronavirus is having on your wellbeing, please read the advice from Oxfordshire Mind below. 

https://www.oxfordshiremind.org.uk/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

There are also handy tips for how those with severe mental illness can look after their health in this time below:

https://equallywell.co.uk/resources/guide-for-people-with-smi-to-look-after-physical-health-during-covid/

About Walking for Wellbeing
Walking for Wellbeing is an Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership-wide project which runs walking groups for people with severe and enduring mental health conditions. We are funded by Sport England and based within Oxfordshire Mind. 

For more information, please contact walking@oxfordshiremind.org.uk.
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