Set up your own Walking Action group
The following article is a guide on how to set up your own Walking Action Group at work.
What is a WAG?
WAG stands for Walking Action Group and is for members of staff and employers who wish to improve walking conditions in and around their place of work.
Why start a Walking Action Group?To improve access and facilities for pedestriansTo improve safety for pedestrians To improve attitudes towards walking and those who walkTo reduce your organisations carbon footprintBy joining forces, walkers can encourage decision makers to improve streets and public places. It is also fun to walk to work with your colleagues!
Benefits for the employer it makes sense for them too!Increasing walking saves money by increasing staff attendance and retentionIncreases productivity as staff are more healthy and alertEnhances your organisations green credentials by increasing sustainable travelDecreases the organisations carbon footprintCuts car parking maintenance costs and frees land for other uses.
How do I start a WAG?Find out who is interested in starting a group. You could do this by sending emails, advertising in your newsletter, putting posters up in your canteen, advertising on your intranet.Get support from one of your managers. Try speaking to senior members of staff who support walking to work.Organize your first meeting. Keep it short. Dont expect people to want to sacrifice large amounts of time for this.
Set up a meetingExplain why you have called a meetingExplore the benefits of walking you could ask people what they thinkGet names and numbers of people attendingSet out WUGs aims and draw up an action plan you could use post it notes for this. What stops people from walking? Again ask around or get people to write on post it notes and discuss.
What can we work towards?Set up a buddy scheme so people can walk to work together. www.mybudi.com may be useful.Set up a WAG website or mailing group such as Google Groups.Set up a walking information area providing maps of the local area.Set up regular meetings and social events. Once you get going celebrate the opening of your new improved pedestrian facilities. Invite the media.Organize a walkers breakfastOrganize a Walk Doctor event invite Scholl to come and look at peoples feet.Lobby for showers, changing facilities and lockers.Produce a newsletter or contribute towards an existing newsletter.Improve pedestrian facilities in the area around where you work. Do a Community Street Audit and submit a written report to your management or local council. For more guidance on this you can buy our Community Street Audit pack at http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/living_streets_shop/products.php?pid=1Conduct a quarterly walk report to see how many people are walking to work.
Present your groups ideas to managementBook an appointment.Produce an action plan. You might want to discuss this with colleagues.Be ready to answer questions about potential problems eg. funding and space. Point out how improvements might save the organisation money in the long run.Stay positive and sell the benefits of walking.Prove that there is need and support for a WAGTalk about the benefits of walking for staff, the organisation and the communitySuggest that your organization can get local press coverage.Set a date for the next meetingDont worry if your first proposal is not accepted. Keep your goals simple to start off with.
Once you are established
You can raise the profile of your WAG by supporting National Walk to Work Day 24 April 2008. Go to www.walkingworks.org.uk for more information.
This resource is available to download in PDF format below.
Leaflet produced by:Charlotte GilhoolyWalking Workswww.walkingworks.org.uk020 7820 1010
Published Tuesday 4 December 2007