Our virtual walkers continue to clock up their miles having explored many parts of the National Park over the past two years.
This really successful programme has brought the beauty of the North York Moors into people’s homes, village halls, Woman’s Institutes, retirement villages and care homes. Volunteers Jim Hall, Alison McDermott, David Marston and Davy Major, led by Partnership and Volunteer Engagement Officer Sophie Lyth, have been heading out armed with cameras and recording equipment bringing the sights and sounds of the different seasons to our virtual walkers.
Part of the success of the programme has been the strong links forged with partners. These include several care homes, Mickle Hill Retirement Village, Ryedale Carer Support, MIND and North Yorkshire Revival.
Ryedale Carer Support, for example, have well-attended monthly 'walks' through zoom.
Chief Officer, Claire Hall of RCS commented:
"I never thought we’d be delivering anything virtual to our client group but it just goes to show that you can’t make assumptions! It has been a brilliant project and one I hope one we can continue to develop and grow with the help of yourselves, our staff and of course the amazing people who log on every month.”
What we present to people is more than just a walk – it is a fabulous social occasion. We have seen a growth in the confidence of people using technology and this has eased the isolation that some people experience.
Over Christmas 2022, virtual walkers were treated to something completely different, with a trip around Castle Howard exhibition entitled 'Into The Woods – a Fairy tale Christmas'. The group visited fairy tale characters in each room, including Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and eventually to the stunning Ballroom and a wedding party for Cinderella.
Our virtual walkers adored their Christmas special. Feedback was exceptional, with requests to record the presentation and let walkers see it again.