A NEW walking group has been launched in Barrow to support people who have suffered from the effects of alcohol and drugs.

Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Services (CADAS) have announced that they are launching a new Walking for Health Group in Barrow.

The group is intended to support service users of CADAS to develop a sustainable road to recovery from the effects of alcohol and drug use.

Leigh Williams, chief executive of CADAS Cumbria, said: "The launch of our new walking group is just one initiative we are using to provide a sustainable recovery service.

"Initially, we run a series of one-to-one sessions where we address individuals specific issues and address their coping strategies.

"After intensive periods of support we are keen to engage people beyond our services, but we fully appreciate that people need ongoing support.

"Therefore, we offer a sustainable recovery model, where people still receive our support through schemes like 'after care' sessions.

"This is where the new Walking for Health Group comes in.

"The group is for people who are unlikely to join other community groups, often as a result of social anxiety.

"The walking project will build on our current activities to help develop better health and wellbeing.

"I could not think of anything better for people to get involved with."

When asked about how effective the group will be, Mrs Williams said: "I believe it will make a difference to people's recovery.

"The new scheme will help people to connect with others and improve their health.

"It is our long term goal for people to develop the confidence to join in other groups to help sustain long-term recovery."

Active Cumbria were also involved in supporting CADAS set up the group.

Kelly Alty, development officer for Active Cumbria, said: "Walking has been proven to have great benefits for both physical and mental and we have been working hard to increase more group walking opportunities across the area.

"CADAS showed an interest in launching a new walking group at a time when we were also setting up more so we wanted to support them through some of their training and promotion.

"Walking is a great low level introductory exercise for people with low mobility and it is so accessible, you only really need a pair of shoes."

"It is also a positive distraction for people to occupy their minds and improve overall health and wellbeing."

If you would like to learn more about the Walking for Health Group in Barrow you should contact CADAS on: 0300 or at: eddiep@cadas.co.uk

CADAS are also currently recruiting volunteers to run sponsored walks at the Coniston to Barrow and Keswick to Barrow events next year. Use the same contact details for any enquiries.