Step Out and Get Your 10 Minute Stroll!

We need your help to celebrate one thing that we CAN do this winter – go for a little walk at lunchtime!

It’s more important than ever to get active for our physical and mental health, but the dark winter months and COVID restrictions have made it more challenging for many people across the borough.

That’s why we’ve created the Take Ten #StepOutChallenge. We’re challenging everyone to walk outside for at least 10 minutes every lunchtime in December – to enjoy the daylight (if not sunlight), go to the shops, walk, round the block or even better local park. It will make you feel brighter and give you a sense of achievement, it’s worth that initial effort of getting your shoes and coat on!

Each day there will be extra optional challenges to try whilst walking, all linked to the 5 ways to wellbeing, to give everyone an extra boost! Find more details on our website.

The Take Ten #StepOutChallenge aims to challenge everyone to get outside for at least 10 minutes every day for a walk during December. To support with this we have created a calendar (see attached) which includes additional challenges based around the five ways to wellbeing to further encourage and support people to take at least 10 minutes out of their day to get outside and walk.

 How can you help?

We’d love it if you could support the challenge by doing the following:

  1. Take part in the challenge yourself, and join us on Twitter using #StepOutChallenge
  2. Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to take part in the challenge
  3. Spread the word to your service users or customers and any other residents that you have contact with. We have included a pack with social media posts and some graphics to go with them. You can also download an accessible version of the calendar on our website.

Attached is the full challenge calendar, and you can find your supporters pack here:  (if this link is no longer working please contact

Take Ten December #StepOutChallenge Full Calendar


FREE Adult Confidence Building Cycle Sessions

Want help with your skills and confidence to ride a bike safely in traffic? Improve your bike skills, plan routes and get tips on basic cycle maintenance by taking part in our National Standards Cycle Training session.

Whatever your cycling ability or experience, our qualified Bikeability Instructors will help you get more confident riding your bike.

To book your training session contact

What does the course involve?

  • Training on quiet roads (close to where you live if possible)
  • Opportunity to progress to busier road training when confident.
  • The best way to ride with your children if applicable.
  • Route planning for your journey/commute.
  • Basic cycle maintenance.
  • Up to 2hr sessions available in your area and availability

What do I need?

  • A working bike that fits you, Sustrans 11-step M-Check contact us if you need to borrow a bike.
  • A cycle helmet is recommended.
  • Clothing appropriate to the weather.

Your cycling instructor will contact you prior to the course to confirm the meeting place and discuss your requirements from the training.

Cycling training will be delivered in line with current Covid-19 Government Guidance.

If you have any questions about these sessions please contact Steve Pullan on 01422 392800 or email

Making our streets greener and healthier

Article found in the Calderdale Council website

People living in an area of Halifax are being asked for their views on how to make their streets greener, healthier and more attractive.

The £1 million project, which is being delivered by Calderdale Council in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is part of a “Streets for People” programme aimed at creating safe, healthy and more inclusive places where people choose to walk, cycle and use public transport.

This project will focus on Park ward, with Illingworth, Ovenden, Mixenden, Lee Mount and Pellon set to benefit from wider improvements.

These areas have been identified because they are seeing traffic congestion at peak times, pockets of poor air quality and fewer walking and cycling facilities.

Residents will receive a letter asking them to take part in an online survey to help shape the improvements.

The survey runs from Monday 14 September until Friday 16 October 2020 and will be available at link)

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, said:

“Making sustainable travel choices is so important for our health and the environment. We want our communities to be places that look good and help us to feel good – places where we want to spend more time and which help us achieve our best.

“Our work in Park ward and North Halifax will help us to understand how we can improve walking and cycling facilities and boost access to public transport. This is a key part of our priorities to make Calderdale the most active borough in the North by 2024 and to tackle climate change.

“We want local people to shape these improvements, so we encourage them to complete the survey to let us know their thoughts.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Calderdale Council on this exciting project, which demonstrates how we are putting local people at the heart of our work.

“Our Streets for People projects, of which this is one, will help make walking, cycling and public transport the natural choice for short, everyday journeys, helping to reduce air pollution, and increase road safety and physical activity.

“We want to create welcoming, safer, quieter and attractive places where people want to spend more time.  It goes without saying that nobody is better placed than local people to tell us how we can do that.”

Calderdale Council and the Combined Authority are working in partnership to make wider improvements as part of Leeds City Region’s £317 million Transforming Cities Fund – a major new programme of transport infrastructure investment announced as part of the West Yorkshire devolution deal earlier this year.

The Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund Programme aims to provide around 627,000 people in the most deprived 20% areas in the country with better access to employment and skills opportunities. Through investment in high-quality, sustainable transport infrastructure, the programme aims to enable inclusive growth, boost productivity, support clean growth and create a modern transport system.

Active Updates – Newsflash from Active Calderdale

Here is our news and updates with ideas to keep you active and healthy!


Walk to School week runs 5th to 9th of October encouraging both pupils and grown-ups to travel to school on foot. A number of primary schools in North Halifax have already signed up and will receive resource packs.  If you’re school hasn’t signed up there’s a free resource pack available at Living Streets – Walk to School.


To Couch to 5K?

Have you been taking part in the Move the Calderdale Way Challenge?  If you’ve been walking more than half an hour at a time why not start the NHS’s Couch to 5K during the last week?  Just replace 3 half hour walks with 1 minute of gentle running (start slow) and 1.5 minute of walking for 20 minutes. It’s a simple 9 week course designed for beginners and there’s an easy NHS C25K app that talks you through each session and even gives your encouragement.

Autumn is here and with COVID restrictions back in place it’s can seem harder to maintain health and happiness and leave you feeling  less inclined or able to get out and about. Why not give yourself a free MOT with the NHS’s One You – How Are you Quiz.  It takes 10 minutes and gives personalised advice on mental and physical health, diet, alcohol and smoking.

Looking for inspiration to get moving, have free fun and meet people safely?

CREW Heart Support are offering Self-guided walks and  free Zoom gentle exercise classes.


Or go along to the new walking rugby (non-contact optional) sessions starting next Wednesday 16th at Ovenden Park, it’s free and open to all. (Attached)


Play out don’t Pay out.

Getting out and moving more is really important to our minds and bodies. Here’s advice on doing it safely and fine free!


When being active informally with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to 6. It is now illegal to do so in a larger groups.  For more details see 3.16 Can I play sport outside? Does this now need to be limited to 6 people?


You can play team sport in any number if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. Sport England have more details


These rules became law on Monday 14th September, breaking them could cost you £100.

Walk this way… into Walking Rugby

Halifax RUFC are delighted to announce that Walking Rugby has arrived in Halifax.

In partnership with Premiership Rugby Club, Sale Sharks, Halifax RUFC will be running weekly Walking Rugby sessions at Ovenden Park. 

Walking Rugby is a slower-paced game of touch rugby that is ideal for those who are aged 50 years and older or those who cannot play contact rugby anymore. This is a less physical, slower-paced version of touch rugby with adapted laws to suit participant needs. 

The sessions are aimed to give rugby playing opportunities for those who may have never played rugby before and those who played previously played and cannot play anymore and want to re-engage with rugby at a slower pace. Sessions are a great way to increase your social activity and make friends with like-minded people. 

The sessions at Ovenden Park, Keighley Road (HX2 8AR) are open to ALL – both men and women and there are no age limits. Best of all, this activity is absolutely FREE! 

Sessions will begin at 6:30 pm on Wednesdays from the 16th September and the Clubhouse will be open afterwards for refreshments. All activities will be COVID Secure.

For more information email

Chris’s Life of Bike Adventures

It started with the golf course across the road.  That’s the Brent Valley Golf Course in Hanwell, West London and it was only 20 yards from our front door.  We moved there in 1954 when I was just 8yrs, but by the time I was 11, my older brother and me were out on the golf course, fishing balls out of the River Brent and getting 6 pence (2 1/2p) a ball from the grateful golfers.  We had an extendable tank aerial, up to 12 feet, with an old bedspring stuck in the end, but it was much more fun to wade in barefoot and feel the soft brown clay squidgy up between our toes.

When the course was shut we hopped over the fence and went kicking the rough to find lost balls, which were sold to the club professional at the club house.  For several years I saved every penny; I wanted a bike!  Dad said we could have a bike when we could afford one ourselves.  That was his way of saying he couldn’t afford two bikes.

It took a lot of saving and at 14 I got a Saturday morning job at a greengrocers.   I had roller skates from the age of 8 and still skate at the YMCA in Halifax, so the 1/2 mile to the shop only took 5 minutes going and only 4 minutes coming back, as it was partly downhill.  I dreamed of how quickly I could do it on a bike.

And then it happened.  I was at the shop and had to pop to the newsagents, just two doors away, to get matches to light the beetroot boiler and there, on the glass fronted door, was a small card with ‘For sale, Carlton Continental – good condition – 1yr old – £20’. I knew I had the money in my Post Office account, so I took the card off the door and as soon as I was finished at 12, I skated the short distance to the advertised address.

This was the bees knees of road racing bikes and all for £20, as the owner needed a quick sale before moving abroad.

I skated home, grabbed the PO book, ran as fast as I could to get the cash and I never spent £20 so happily.  Well, you should have seen the look on my Dad’s face when I got back.  That bike opened the door to freedom and a small group of us, usually 6, would go off every Sunday, whatever the weather, to some far flung corner of Middlesex, or Surrey.  We aimed for around 20 miles out, but did go up to 40 miles in the summer.  One clear, but cold winter’s day, we set off for Winsor Great Park, just 18 miles away.  When we got there, the lakes were frozen, so two of us mad souls went for a slide on the ice.  Incredibly stupid, but oh how much fun.

Then in 1971 I moved to Halifax.  Oh, what a shock!  Hills!  Masses of them and the 5 speed bike struggled, (well I struggled) on the steepest.  I could just about get from Bradshaw, where we lived, up to the old Raggalds Pub.  Anyway, family came along and the bike was mothballed for several years, but you can’t keep a bike and not ride it, so out it came. I was off again, but just a year later, it was stolen from the garage, along with my son’s bike.  With the insurance pay out, I bought two identical, except for colour, Townsend Triathlon bikes, 10 speed.  Hills, I laughed at them.

After many years of sterling work, it was time for a change. Much research later and I was at Cycle World in Halifax and bought a Genesis Aether 34.  The Genesis, with its 14 gears, is much more suited to my senior years; the shop put a lower low and a higher high gears, so I can still get up Windy Bank if I’m warmed up.  However, the extra high gear makes the bike frighteningly fast on downhill runs.  Going down Wheatley Lane and Shroggs Road the speedo shows over 30mph, without too much effort, but cars still scream past.  I look at the Genesis bike and I can see the train of investment from all those years ago when I was saving so hard.

And there’s more.  I am now the proud owner of two replacement hips, the first in 2010, but before that operation I was struggling to mount and dismount the road bike.  I needed a step through frame.  I didn’t want a lady’s bike, so I looked at folding bikes and after much looking on Ebay, I found the dream machine.  I had to wait a month whilst it was shipped from China though, but boy, was it worth waiting for.   The 6 speed Shimano gears are just about capable of getting me from home, on to Morrisons and up to the fire station at Illingworth.

But that’s not all that it’s used for.  Yes it’s handy to nip to the shops, but one of the main uses is as a warm up machine for when I go refereeing Rink Hockey.  I still work at Premier League level and travel all over England, from Middlesbrough to Kings Lynn, or even down to Herne Bay in Kent and I know all the best places to cycle when I arrive.  Aiming to arriving 2 hours early not only gives me a good buffer for traffic hold ups, but also allows for a bike ride.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an evening game in winter, as I have an awesome front LED light and a great rear light too and if it’s wet I just don rain gear and off I go.  I’ve been on muddy riverside tracks, main roads and country lanes and even braved a bit of snow on that bike.

Before this pandemic I would regularly cycle into Halifax from Ovenden and although I have tried to get up Ramsden Street, I can’t get more than about a third of the way up, so I don’t try now.  I fold the bike up in town and get the 521 home, for free.  I’ve even taken it to London for WaterAid charity meetings.  Cycle to the station and take the folded bike on the train to London.  Unfold it at King’s Cross and cycle to my location.   London is quite a bike friendly city.

For me, the folding bike is purely transport and the road bike for keep fit and a bit of fun.  One of these days, I will refurbish my Dad’s bike, a Dawes road bike © 1929 with its peculiar triangular Swiss OS gear.  Anyone got some spare time they could give me?

Chris Freeman

Inspired to get on a bike?

Bike riding is a great cheap, healthy and fun way to get around, for more info of what help is available visit Active Calderdale’s –  Bike Riding in Calderdale.