Explore, Exercise, Exhale

CoolTan Arts presents a walking festival of urban exploration!

Running from 28 March to 2 April 2017, ‘Explore, Exercise, Exhale’ includes 7 walks, a walking workshop run with Bermondsey Artist Group and Inspiral London. There is an Open Afternoon at CoolTan Arts which includes a taster walk and chance to find out how to volunteer with CoolWalks. The festival celebrates and relaunch the walking programme, CoolWalks, based on CoolTan’s experience of running public walks for over ten years. Read on for more information on the walks and training programme:

CoolWalks has developed a range of tours, including seven walks about historical figures who lived in South London, such as David Bowie, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charles Dickens and Michael Caine. The tour guides are encouraged to research and craft stories they feel are important, presenting an alternative, creative, sometimes radical view of the city we live in or visit. For the Chaplin walk we encounter Charlie’s family, exploring their struggles to survive the up and down fortunes of the music hall life.

We will also be celebrating the monthly wellbeing walks called ‘Largactyl Shuffle’, which has been running since 2006 and is named after the oldest anti-psychotic drug, Largactil, that can have extreme physical side effects including a distinctive shambolic gait, or ‘shuffling’. These walks aim to raise awareness of issues which overlap or are closely connected to mental health, and theme include the ethnic diversity of the Southwark community; Rights and Equality on our ‘I Have a Dream’ and Black Heritage Walks and ‘Women’s Day’ and LGBT walks.

About the CoolWalks training programme

Every year about 40 participants join the stigma-busting walk programme as volunteers. Most of these complete introductory walk leader training, and do Mental Health First Aid training. About half of the participants become guides, while others work on the research or promotion. 100% of the ticket sales from the walks goes back into the walks group and its guides.

The training offers opportunities to build professional skills, and some of the Guides are now leading full public walks on their own, for CoolTan Arts, London Walks and the London Museum of Transport. A number of volunteers have already gained work, while others have used their newly gained research and speaking skills on national radio, or raised their confidence levels.

‘Explore, Exhale, Exercise’  runs from 28 March to 2 April 2017. It features 7 walks, a walking workshop and an Open Afternoon at CoolTan Arts which includes a taster walk and chance to find out how to join the programme. CoolTan has collaborated with InspiralLondon and Bermondsey Artists Group to deliver the programme. See http://coolwalksblog.blogspot.co.uk/ for more details.

Book your place in advance at www.cooltanarts.org.uk/guided-walks

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