Walking group

Covid-19: Please note due to Covid-19 the Staff Walking Group and Staff Needlework Group are not currently running.

The Staff Walking Group is led by Julie Ryan and Elisa Chesterton, Department of Finance.

Julie and Elisa

Julie and Elisa meet fortnightly on Monday lunchtimes for 30 minute walks on varying routes around the local area. They aim to take on a new and interesting route each time, and cater for all walking abilities.

We asked Julie and Elisa to share their experience of the walking group so far, and why they chose to lead it.

1. Why do you lead the walking group?

Julie: I usually have a walk at lunchtime and appreciate the benefits of doing so, so am keen to share these benefits with other colleagues. I also enjoy meeting new colleagues and learning about their roles.

2. Talk us through your Staff Wellbeing journey.

Elisa: Julie and I were asked by our then line manager to lead this group as we all went out walking at lunchtime. We love walking and want to encourage colleagues to feel the benefits of fresh air and exercise in the middle of a busy day. Whatever the weather we'll be there.

3. What do you enjoy the most about leading the Walking Group?

Julie: Meeting new people and exploring the local area, as well as catching up with colleagues met on previous walks.

Elisa: I enjoy the challenge of finding new and interesting routes, meeting new people, seeing familiar faces and making contacts with people I would not normally encounter in my daily role.

Walking Group 2

4. Do you have any other wellbeing interests/hobbies?

Julie: I play the flute and piccolo and belong to a local orchestra (Sheffield Chamber Orchestra) as well as being its Chairman, and I also play a little bit of saxophone.

Elisa: I also attend the Staff Wellbeing bootcamp, I like exercising in general, cycling, knitting, reading and volunteering at my local Scout group.

5. If you could bust one myth about the Walking Group, what would it be?

Julie: That we sometimes don't turn up - we always turn up and we always walk, unless it's unsafe.

Elisa: We don't walk fast. We adapt the pace of the walk as required.

6. How can staff integrate the Walking Group into their work and home-life?

Elisa: No matter how busy the day is everyone needs a break. The fresh air clears your mind ready to face the afternoon. Once people realise they can incorporate a 30 minute walk into their day they can do the same at home and encourage their family to get out altogether even if is only for a short walk and hopefully they will discover the joy of walking and the benefits it brings. Exploring their local area or even further afield in the beautiful Peak District on our doorstep.

Walking Group

7. What do you think are the benefits for staff who get involved?

Julie: Fresh air, exercise, change of scene and a break from work - plus meeting other colleagues - you never know who you might meet!

Elisa: The benefits are that you meet interesting people, it gets you out of the office for some fresh air and exercise, and you discover new local areas.

8. What about the Walking Group encourages others to connect?

Elisa: Everyone who attends walking group has similar goals of getting some fresh air and exercise, but we all get on well together and talk to each other, no matter what you do in your day job, no matter what grade you are, it doesn't matter at walking group. It also leads to new connections which can help in your daily role. I met a lady on walking group and we chatted while walking, a few months later I needed some help with a problem at work and remembered where she worked and due to our chats at walking group I felt able to call her and sort out the issue.

9. What has been your favourite session - what happened on this session?

Julie: I don't have a favourite session, but my favourite route is to the Botanical Gardens as the scenery is always different. It's just a pity it takes so long to get there, but nobody seems to mind being a little late getting back.

Elisa: My favourite session so far is probably the elephant hunt, when the Herd of Sheffield was out in the city, finding the elephants and reading why they were there. However, I enjoy all the walks, there is always someone there to talk to, to take your mind of that day's issues and clear your mind ready for a productive afternoon.

To book your place on to the next Staff Walking Group, please visit the Staff Wellbeing Platform. For any queries please contact staffwellbeing@sheffield.ac.uk.

Do you have an interest or hobby you'd like to share?

Whether it's board gaming, crafting, frisbeeing or something completely unique, if you'd like to share your interest or hobby with others we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch by emailing staffwellbeing@sheffield.ac.uk