Women from minority ethnic backgrounds are being encouraged to get active and discover the gems of the Bradford district whilst making new friends.

Enable2 has joined forces with Get Out More, a social enterprise based in Keighley, to help women discover what their environment has to offer in a series of walks.

We recently provided Arabic and Urdu interpreters to accompany the weekly walks to places of interest areas in the Bradford District for women who live in the Keighley and Barker End BD3. The Keighley group, which has finished now, visited  Devonshire Park and Cliffe Castle; East Riddlesden Hall riverside; the : Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Riddlesden;  Saltaire; St Ives estate in Bingley; Saltaire and Lister Park. The BD3 group will run walks until March. The 75 minute sessions usually provided a stop at a cafe en route. The initiative also provides indoor exercise classes planned for when the weather is not fit to go out walking.

 Liz Weatherill, managing director of Enable2, said: “We are really pleased to help support these women who can often become isolated by providing them with an interpreter who speaks their own language so that they could fully participate and benefit from a sense of community and security that comes with being part of a led group.”

Annie Berrington, managing director of social enterprise Get Out More, secured funding through Go:Walking’s small grants scheme  which is managed by Living Streets, the UK  charity for everyday walking, on behalf of West Yorkshire Combined Authority. This scheme is targeted at West Yorkshire’s most inactive wards. It is aimed at older women from the minority ethnic communities, many of whom have few opportunities for physical and social activities outside of the home. We provide opportunities for these women to be more active and to socialise, to get out of the house and meet other people of a similar background. We have been successful in changing attitudes to walking in autumn as we came out on days when our participants would normally have stayed at home. Our feedback from women showed the venture helped to improve their sense of wellbeing and they enjoyed visiting and learning about new places in the local area.”

Enable2 interpreter Maroof Akhtar drew together a group of older Asian ladies from the Highfield area in Keighley and provided interpretation on the walks. All of the participants said that they would not have attended the walks if there had not been an interpreter present.

One participant commented: “With an interpreter joining us I felt supported. If there had been a problem, such as if I had a fall, I knew you would be able to call my family.”

Another said: “We feel confident with Maroof as she is a respected member of our community. It helped with the language barrier.

 Plans for the future include providing an interpreter for women from Syria to accompany walks and seeking further funding to run more walks with interpretation beginning in the spring. And the venture now has support from the2016-11-01 14.13.24Family and Community Engagement team at Better Start Bradford to encourage more younger women with children to take part in the walks.

 For more details about the walks visit: http://www.getoutmorecic.co.uk/