First Steps – Walking Workshop in Calderdale February 1st

Getting out for a stroll is one of the few ways we can all move more at the moment. We’d like your help to understand what groups, routes and resources are out there so together we can make it easier for everyone to find a way to walk. For further details and to register on to the event, please visit

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/835878963623591/

Actual Eventbrite link to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walking-in-calderdale-first-steps-workshop-tickets-135679682583

Active Calderdale walking workshop full

Active Calderdale advice on improving your sleep

Getting enough sleep is so important to ensure that we feel replenished and ready for the day.

There are many reasons why we may be struggling to sleep, including working from home, stress, illness, alcohol consumption and the inability to relax.

If you need advice, have a look at these sleep guides. It is amazing how much better we all feel after a good night’s sleep!

Basic Introduction to Sleep
Introduction to the neuroscience of sleep and effects of sleep deprivation

Top 13 tips
13 tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep

Food for Thought
List of foods that help you get better sleep – and those that don’t!

It’s not too late to join in with Active Calderdale’s December challenge!

Let’s not let the dark winter evenings stop us from getting active! Active Calderdale is challenging EVERYONE to get outside for at least 10 minutes every lunchtime during the month of December to improve our physical and mental health.

Take a look at this calendar which supports this challenge; it has interesting tasks to do each day based around the Five Ways to Wellbeing – go on, challenge yourself to complete it.

Further information on the challenge can be found here.

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 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.

Take Ten December #StepOutChallenge Full Calendar

 

Bikeability – My Free Bike Riding Training Session by Joanne Dye

I love watching cyclists and for a long time wanted to learn how to ride a bike safely on the road. With everything COVID related, I wanted to get out more and try cycling but still this fear of being on the road was putting me off. I had mentioned to Suzy, our Active Calderdale engagement co-ordinator for North Halifax about wishing there were something linked to cycling that was easy to access in my local area. I was put in touch with a new free project run by Bikeability which provides adult one to one or family training in riding a bike.

The Bikeability instructor called beforehand to discuss what I needed and where best to meet; she was great to speak with on the phone (a real getting to know you phone call). This put me at great ease. We met up at the moor at Manor Health one week later and learned how to safely ride a cycle on the road. Her calm and clear persona made me feel comfortable and confident enough to go out on the main roads. I will be having an additional session, just to make sure I would be confident enough to take my children out on the roads.

I would highly recommend this service to anyone who is looking to get out more, build their confidence or to learn a new skill. Even if it is just to refresh your memory. It is a fun, free, 2 hour service, delivered in line with current Covid-19 Government Guidance. What have you go to lose?

To have a chat about your needs or to register for a Free session when restrictions allow, see Cycle Confidence Building – Bikeability – Active Calderdale.

 

 

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: https://we.tl/t-BUNLiaa6Ey  (if this link is no longer working please contact activecalderdale@calderdale.gov.uk.

Take Ten December #StepOutChallenge Full Calendar

 

Do you live or work in Illingworth, Ovenden or Lee Mount?

Would you like to make it easier for people to improve how they feel inside and out, to have fun and feel more confident?

Conversations and messages we see and hear, and the area where we live can have a big impact on how we behave and what becomes normal. Local voluntary and community groups, charities, faith associations, libraries, children’s centres, housing associations, pubs, hairdressers, post offices and more, have the ability to influence what we think and do.

Active North Halifax are looking for people who feel passionately about making it easier for those who live and work in Illingworth, Ovenden or Lee Mount to get physically active.

This could be; identifying what currently works and what doesn’t, where existing groups, services or individuals could work together, such as sharing skills and resources, highlighting where new activities are needed, or simply promoting activity through social media, posters in shops or having a chat with neighbours or customers.

It’s not about losing pounds and gaining big muscles, it’s about improving health and wellbeing, reducing loneliness, strengthening local ownership and pride, being creative about how people can become active, in a way that works for them. We want to explore opportunities for people to be active in the community spaces and places where people usually attend, places they know and trust, and where they feel safe, particularly in these changing times.

If  you’d like to find out more or join this conversation please contact North Halifax Active Engagement Co-ordinator Suzanne.straughan@nhppltd.org.uk

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.