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Case Studies

GO50 Walks Programme

Published by Jenn Rusby
GO50 Projects Coordinator
Age Concern Surrey
Telephone 01483 534706

GO50 is run by Age Concern Surrey and aims to introduce people over the age of 50 to the benefits of regular exercise and healthier lifestyles. GO50 organises 2-3 walks per week in Surrey, all between 2 1/2 - 5 miles in length led by a walk leader volunteer.

GO50 Walks Programme

The project is located in...


The people helped are...

Older people over the age of 50 from a variety of settings.

What they have said is...

"The GO50 walks have been very helpful in the winter when I would otherwise not be so active.  I have met new people and found the walks very interesting."

We set up the project because...

•·       Walking is something that almost everyone can get involved in and it provides excellent health benefits

•·       You don't need expensive equipment or a map - just a pair of sensible shoes and a waterproof coat

•·       Is a beneficial and enjoyable way to keep fit and there is a low risk of injury

•·       Is a social activity where participants can walk and talk

•·       It is an easy activity to start doing, build up gradually and continue long-term

•·       Walking with a group can make you feel safer and more confident

The difference this project makes is...

•·       To provide health benefits for the participants including:

•o      Improving balance, mental alertness, weight management, flexibility

•o      Reducing the risk of heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, diabetes

•·       To provide improved mental health, friendships and social support

•·       To start people thinking about a healthy lifestyle

What we did or are doing

With the help of volunteer walk leaders, GO50 organises 2 - 3 walks per week across Surrey for people to enjoy walking together and socialising.  All walks have one walk leader and one back marker ensuring the group stays together.  The leaders are asked to pre-walk their route to complete a risk assessment form.  At the beginning of the walk it is the responsibility of the leader to explain the route to the walkers and any difficulties they may face.  The description of the walk is in our programmes so walkers know what to expect, such as if there are a lot of stiles to cross or many steep ascents/descents.  The length of the walk is also stated in the programme, so it is very much up to the person to decide whether they are capable to take on the walk and its difficulty.   


A first aid training is held once a year for all of the leaders.  The leaders have been issued with small first aid kits to carry on their walks.  Most leaders also carry a mobile phone in case of an emergency. If an accident occurs, all leaders have accident forms and they are requested to take down the details of the accident, any witnesses with their contact details and the action taken. 

We chose this method because...

Walking is the closest thing to perfect exercise, it's outdoors, sociable and fun.

What's happened is...

•·        2 - 3 walks have been running every week since 1997 across Surrey

•·        Approximately 2,000 people have attended a GO50 walk

•·        The average number of people per walk is 18

•·        We currently have 33 experienced volunteer walk leaders


A regular survey is distributed to all of our participants and volunteer walk leaders to help us improve the programme.

This project helped to deliver...

Healthy lifestyles, greater fitness and fun for the over 50s. 

The project is now...


Additional information or comments?

Long-Term Sustainability:

With the success of the GO50 walks programme, GOFurther was introduced for GO50 walkers who are capable of walking further.  Managed in the same way as GO50, there are 1 -2 GOFurther walks per week ranging in distance from 6 - 10 miles.  GOFurther walks allow our participants to continue to increase their fitness levels and to carry on walking. 



Print this page
Lead Organisation Age Concern Surrey
Geographical Area Surrey
Outcomes Community cohesion, Improving health, Increasing participation
Beneficiary Age Adults, Older People (Over 60)
Beneficiary Groups General population
Type of activity Active lifestyles, Fitness & exercise, Green exercise, Sport, Walking
Primary Theme Physical Activity
Secondary Themes Healthy Weight Mental Wellbeing



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