June 22, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Cornwall chosen to deliver pilot aimed at making walking, cycling and wheeling part of everyday life

Cornwall Council is one of 13 authorities chosen to deliver a new pilot scheme aimed at encouraging adults to choose ‘active travel’.

It has been given around £840,000 by the government to boost the number of people who pick healthy forms of transport over jumping in the car as part of their daily lives.

Active travel means getting from A to B in a more physically active way, like walking, cycling, and ‘wheeling’ (using a wheelchair).

An Active Travel Social Prescribing pilot has begun in Cornwall

The scheme will get people involved through ‘social prescribing’, which sees people connected to activities, groups, and services in their community to boost their health and wellbeing. They can be referred by a range of professionals, such as GPs.

The Active Travel Social Prescribing (ATSP) pilot will initially focus on three areas – Penzance, Bodmin and St Austell and the China Clay Areas.

The council has employed three Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs) who will work one-to-one with eligible adults to identify and overcome barriers to active travel.

At the same time, community groups and organisations are being given the chance to apply for funding for activities and provision that will help people living in the three pilot areas embrace active travel.

Cllr Andy Virr, cabinet member for adults and public health at Cornwall Council, said:

“It’s great news that Cornwall has been chosen to deliver one of the 13 national Active Travel Social Prescribing pilots.

“Switching to an active form of travel in day-to-day life will not only help the environment, it also has huge health and wellbeing benefits.

“If this sounds appealing then why not speak to your GP or other social prescriber in your area about it? And if you’re a group or organisation that can help deliver active travel in one of those three areas then please get in touch – we can offer funding to help embed active travel in your community.”

Natalie Russell, Project Manager for Active Travel Social Prescribing at Public Health Cornwall, added:

“This is a programme designed to help adults to begin to make cycling, walking and wheeling part of their everyday lives – and it’s totally free.

“You’ll get one-to-one support from a Health Improvement Practitioner who will work with you to identify existing walking and cycling provision that you can access and connect you to it.

“The pilot supports adults who are registered with a GP in one of the three pilot locations and is aimed primarily at people who are in poor health, unemployed, over 50 or living with a disability.”

Community groups or organisations can apply for funding via our Active Travel Social Prescribing Fund webpage.

Proposals might include cycling or e-bike hire, safety gear provision or bike maintenance courses, cycle storage, walking groups, or projects that might tackle barriers to inclusion and accessibility.

Professionals can refer adults for support from a Health Improvement Practitioner via the Healthy Cornwall website.

For more information on the pilot visit the dedicated webpage on the Cornwall Council website.

Press release issued on February 8, 2024.