Keeping Safe and Doing Our Part on Our Walks

Aug. 27, 2020, 4 p.m.

UPDATED: 9th September 2020, 19:30pm

One of the discussions that came up in our "Knights of the Round Zoom Call" meeting on Thursday night last week was that, whilst people are slowly getting out again with the easing of lockdown, many are still very wary. We all know that the pandemic is far from over yet.

We understand that some of our bros and supporters are rightly concerned about ensuring they are not spreading or catching COVID-19 when they attend one of our walks.

So with this in mind, we have put together a post to highlight how we here at Walk&Talk4Men are doing our part, with a list of safety guidelines we have set up to ensure that both we can run and you can attend our walk events safely with peace of mind.

1. How can I be sure the walk event is going ahead?

The best and fastest way to check if a walk is going ahead is to check our blog here and also our social media outlets - which is @Walkandtalk4men. We will put a post up on our social media outlets and here on the blog two days before each walk event to remind people that it is forthcoming.

If this has been posted, and there are no other posts made after that time to say that an event is not running, then rest assured the walk event is still going ahead.

If in the event a walk has to be cancelled because of UK Government directives such as a local or national lockdown, or closure of a venue because of an outbreak, or any other reason, we will notify everyone across our website and social media that this is the case, and will look to either rearrange this for a suitable later date, or offer an alternative such as a Virtual Talk.

2. What safety measures are hosts of your walk events taking?

Hosts of our walk events have collectively agreed to observe and adhere to the following safety measures for walk events. Whilst not an exhaustive list, these are some of the most essential steps that are being taken to ensure we are playing our part to contain the spread, and we will look to review these on a regular basis to ensure they reflect and adhere to the ever changing Government guidelines.

- To minimise physical contact, walk hosts will adhere to the 1 metre + rule for social distancing at all times. Handshakes, hugs etc will not be permitted
- Walk hosts will ensure that they are wearing a face mask or face covering on walks
- Walk hosts will ensure that they have hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes on their person at walks
- Walk hosts will ensure group is of no larger size than six people as per the new UK Government rules effective from Monday, 14th September 2020. In the event of a larger gathering, these will be split up into smaller groups and will take different routes to maintain social distancing
- Walk hosts will immediately notify all affected if they are unable to host the event if they are ill or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, and follow NHS 111 guidance as applicable. The walk will then be either rescheduled for a later date or switched to a Virtual Talk event.
- Walk hosts will take names and contact details of all who attend their walk for Trace and Track purposes at the start of each walk. These will be safely deleted or destroyed 21 days after the walk event has taken place.

3. What safety measures must I take before, when attending and after a walk?

As with our hosts, we would please ask that all attending our walks follow and adhere to the below safety measures before, when attending and after they have been to one of our walks.

- To not attend a walk if you or any of your immediate household is displaying symptoms of COVID-19
- To arrive at meeting points for walks no sooner than 10 minutes before start time
- To maintain a safe social distance of 1 metre + at all times and not engage in physical contact such as hugs or handshakes
- To ensure that you wear a face mask or face covering and have hand sanitiser on your person at all times on our walks
- To supply your name and contact details to your walk host as outlined above
- To immediately notify your walk host if, at any point after attending one of our walks, you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19

4. I'm still not feeling confident about attending a walk in a group, but I really want to talk to someone.

Another suggestion that came up in our meeting last week was the idea of a "Buddy" system, which we are calling "Bro2Bro Walks". How these will work is that we pair you up with another member of our group who is local to you, who will meet with you at a safe social distance at a location of your choosing for a walk and a time to suit you.

It'll still be the same friendly, supportive listening ears as you get on our walk events, but on a safer scale. You can get in touch with us via email - walkandtalk4men@gmail.com - or send us a message via any of our social media networks to request a Bro2Bro walk along with your name and a contact number. Please remember that the same safety measures highlighted above will apply for Bro2Bro walks.

As the autumn and winter months return, we may even bring back the Virtual Talks that we did earlier on in the year during lockdown, so the Bro2Bro could even take place over video call if you would prefer. Please highlight this if this is the case when you contact us.

5. I would like to help out hosting a walk - how do I do that?

Very easily. Drop an e-mail to us - walkandtalk4men@gmail.com - or message us on our social media channels. James, our founder, will get back to you to explain everything you need to know and offer you guidance on where to promote and how to ensure that you are hosting a walk COVID securely.

6. I'd like to offer help with the group in another way - how do I do that?

There are many things we're welcome to recieve help from, from support from local community organisations and charities, through to promotion in media - news, TV, radio. Or maybe there's something you can think of that we haven't that could benefit us and help us get more men talking safely and changing the conversation around mental health. Contact us using the details highlighted above and we will get back to you as soon as possible.