21st January 2020

Case study: The Big Stroll in Mousehold Heath

Lexy and Jonny Goode, founders of social enterprise The Goode Life, set up a Big Stroll around Norwich’s Mousehold Heath in November 2019.

“We were already walking regularly on Mousehold Heath and had built up a little community there,” said Lexy. “We saw The Big Stroll advertised on Facebook and thought it was a good opportunity to get people together.”

The pair applied for funding through Pushing Ahead’s website to cover the set-up costs of the walk. “The funding application process was pretty straightforward,” says Lexy. “Once the funding came through we spent it on high-vis jackets, posters to promote the walk, and refreshments for people to enjoy afterwards.”

Lexy and Jonny already volunteered regularly at The Phab Club, a social club for people with learning disabilities, and thought their Big Stroll was a great opportunity to bring together people with and without disabilities. They planned a two-mile route, wheelchair-accessible route starting and finishing at Plumstead Road library, which has facilities including disabled toilets and on-street parking.

Social media helped spread the word ahead of the event. The event was promoted via The Goode Life, The Phab Club, and Plumstead Road Library’s Facebook pages, as well as the Pushing Ahead and Active Norfolk websites, while the library displayed Lexy and Jonny’s posters.

On the day, 16 people from different walks of life came together for a stroll in the autumn sunshine, from five-year-old George Goode to 78-year-old walking group regular Joan Houghton. Lexy and Jonny donned high-vis jackets to lead the walk, making sure everyone could safely enjoy it at their own pace.

Back at the library the group had the chance to relax and socialise over a cup of tea and delicious vegan treats from Deerly Beloved Bakery.

Phab Club volunteer Martin Fuller: “If people have a disability they still want to be active and take part in things like physical activities. We like to get involved in community events and this was a brilliant way for our members, some of whom live in care homes or find it difficult to get out and about, to meet other people.”

Joan Houghton, 78: “It’s been a brilliant walk through the woods at a nice speed and I enjoyed meeting new people. More people should get outside and get active – they don’t know what they’re missing!”

Lexy: “Everyone said they enjoyed themselves and that they would like to participate in another community walk with us. One lady lived nearby but hadn’t ventured far, so was pleased to explore a new part of her local area. We definitely want to keep organising walks and have organised another one in January.”

Click here for more information on The Big Stroll, including details of our free online walk leader training and how to apply for funding.