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Walk Will Help Young People Pave Way For Independence

Published on: 22 Nov, 2015
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2015

A group of people with learning disabilities will take to the streets of Guildford on Tuesday (November 24) to identify ways in which their local area can be improved to help them move around the streets more safely.

halowThe group, aged 16 to 35, are part of the halow project, based in Guildford. The charity aims to support young people with a learning disability live as independently as possible.

They will carry out a community street audit on a walk from halow’s main office to the Spectrum leisure centre, and will be identifying barriers which make their journeys difficult and prevent them from walking more, such as uneven pavements, lack of dropped kerbs and ineffective crossings.

The audits are being led by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

Young people from halow have already worked with project co-ordinators from Living Streets to discuss what is good or bad about walking and what might help make them more independent when going out and about in their local community.

Victoria Spashett, project co-ordinator (Surrey), Living Streets, said: “We want everyone who can walk to have the chance to do so on streets that are safe, pleasant and fit for walking. Through this project, we will be able to hear directly from the group about the small changes which would make a great impact on their journeys.

“By identifying barriers to walking we can start to address them so that more people can travel actively and independently, and start experiencing the health, social and environmental benefits that walking brings.”

Mel Simmonds, building futures assistant co-ordinator, at halow, added: “Being able to travel actively is very important for this group of people. It can really increase their confidence and independence and help them develop important life skills.

“By walking they become part of their community, can access leisure opportunities easily and experience the same benefits to their mental and physical health as everybody else.

“We’re really happy to be part of this project and hope that the findings of the audit influence positive changes for everyone using our streets.”

The Community Street Audit takes place during Road Safety Week, which launches on November 23, led by road safety charity, Brake.

This year’s Road Safety Week is encouraging everyone to consider how they use roads and, if they can, ditch the car and walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible.

To find out more about Living Streets visit

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