Walking Works in Wigan

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2010 saw Wigan Council's biggest Walk to Work Week yet, with over 35 teams of 5-6 people each competing to leave their cars at home, strap on their pedometers and get walking.

Walking Works in WiganTo spread the word about the week and get staff ready and raring to walk, the Council put up Walk to Work Week banners and distributed flyers. Everyone enthusiastically embraced the competition – not least because the team with the greatest total was rewarded with a free healthy meal at a local restaurant!

In addition to the walking competition, the week saw activities such as led walks to local parks. Staff were so enthusiastic about the week that they managed to get workers at NHS Wigan, the Department for Work and Pensions and a local college involved in an ad hoc workplace walk-off.

Between them, the walkers at Wigan Council walked a massive total of 3891 miles– the equivalent of two and a half times the length of the UK!

For Dawn Jones, Sustainable Travel Officer at the Council, the benefits of the week are clear: it gets cars off the road, reducing congestion and pollution – a real priority for the council. In total over 634 kilos of carbon emissions were saved.

It also left the staff feeling healthier, more active and more energetic – hardly surprising, given that between them staff burnt off the equivalent of over 1,000 muffins!

In fact staff enjoyed Walk to Work Week so much that once a year just didn’t seem enough – they have asked that Wigan organise its own weeks on a more regular basis throughout the year.