Four women have been wandering the streets of Fendalton for about 20 years, building friendships and learning about their local neighbourhoods as members of a weekly Walk’n’Talk group.
Long-term walker – and volunteer – Vivien Price says the meet-ups offer an ideal opportunity to mix exercise, social connections and community knowledge.
Along with Pat Williams, 94, Dorothy Morris, and Philippa Goile, the active foursome have found friendship and fun along the way since first setting out in 2000.
Mrs Williams, who took part in the very first outing, remains a committed regular.
“We all enjoy up to 45-minute rambles, usually from February to early December,” Mrs Price says.
“Up to 40 people – aged from their 50s to 90s – often join the Fendalton walks. However, our numbers drop in winter.”
For Mrs Price, who is originally from England, the Walk’n’Talk group is a “wonderful way to meet new people and form friendships”.
“It is always very friendly and inclusive, and we often enjoy a coffee together,” she says.
Supported by the Christchurch City Council, the activity programme operates in six areas, including Beckenham, Fendalton, Halswell, Linwood, New Brighton and Papanui.
Council Community Governance Team Manager Matt McLintock says that after 20 years, the Walk’n’Talk programme is “more popular than ever”.
“The weekly wanders are literally attracting people from all walks of life, and all ages,” he says.
“For some, it is an opportunity to make new connections while for others, they want to learn more about their local area.
“Each group is very welcoming and always keen to include new members.
“We have found that the group walks and talks have a positive impact on well-being, with participants enjoying a change of pace. It is also a great opportunity to reconnect with your neighbourhood.”
To find out more, go to the Walk’n’Talk webpage.
Left to right: Philippa Goile, Pat Williams, Dorothy Morris and Vivien Price.