Heart Foundation Walking - Stockland Merrylands Local Group
Established in March 2012, the Stockland Merrylands walking group is coordinated by Centre Management staff and the Volunteer Walk Organiser who host walks in the shopping centre twice a week before opening hours. Carol, the Walk Organiser won the coveted Golden Shoe award in 2014 for going above and beyond her role with Heart Foundation Walking. Here is what she had to say about the group:
‘We love walking for the Heart Foundation. You feel you are a somebody when you say “I walk for the Heart Foundation Walking Group”. The incentives are great just to boost you into achieving the next level. And mostly because you are doing some exercise even if it is just walking. We are all good talkers and listeners which makes the time go fast and you don’t even realise that you have finished.’
Why is the shopping centre an ideal walking environment?
We enjoy walking around Stockland Mall mainly because you do not have to worry about the weather, uneven surfaces, cars, or dogs. After we have had our walk we gather at the Coffee Shop of choice and have a chat until the shops open and continue with shopping or whatever you have to do.
The Assistant Marketing Manager adds: In your opinion how has this walking group benefited your shopping centre?
The Heart Foundation walking group is a valuable part of our Community Development plan for the centre. We believe that the walking group promotes and fosters health and wellbeing to our shoppers and community. Our aim is to reach a greater number of locals with this initiative to assist with improving their health, community involvement and social wellbeing.
What advice would you offer about establishing a walking group in a shopping centre?
Every shopping centre is essentially its own little ‘community’. To establish a walking group, it would be best to first engage with a well-known and active member of the community to spread the word about The Heart Foundation and the benefits of a walking group. You can also communicate the message to any seniors clubs or groups within the centre, as well as engage with retailers to promote the initiative. It may also be beneficial to offer an informational seminar or morning tea – hosted by The Heart Foundation and the centre to discuss and educate the community on the walking group.
To find out more and become a part of the Stockland Merrylands walking group, email Walk Organiser Carol Trindall on email@example.com or visit http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/.