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Increased numbers on social walks

Posted on 2020-08-26

Dear LDWA Colleagues,


I am pleased to advise you that, after consultation with Sport England, the LDWA Insurance Broker has read and accepted the LDWA’s guidelines containing the principles and mitigating approaches which Local Groups must adopt for social walks in England with attendances of up to but not exceeding 30.


I hope you agree that this is exciting news and although it has taken some time and lots of work to get there, my NEC colleagues and I have worked hard to ensure we have engaged with groups in order to keep things as safe as we can for our members. It's absolutely vital that walk leaders understand they don't have to lead large group sizes and that they should only lead a group size that they're comfortable with. However, in England, if a walk leader wants to lead a group of more than six people, then they now need to complete a risk assessment. Some walk leaders may think that this is an administrative burden they don't want to go through, and although we understand this, we think that the attached risk assessment form is easy to complete, so please do encourage walk leaders to have a positive outlook on it. The risk assessment and rules document can also be read at:


https://ldwa.org.uk/website/downloads/toolkit/COVID-19_Social_walks_risk_assessment_and_rules_v2_0.pdf


It's important to understand that every walk leader needs to abide by the new rules when leading groups of more than 6 people in England. So, you'll need the walk leader to complete their risk assessment and, after the walk, the walk register will need uploading as well. You'll need the local group representative who uploads these to the national site to be primed and ready, as we'll need both these documents uploaded for each walk.


With the increased number of local lockdowns now taking place in the UK, it is absolutely vital that when the walk leader conducts the risk assessment, the question relating to whether the walk can take place within the local lockdown rules is answered. LDWA social walks can only be conducted if they abide by Government and/or local COVID rules.


So, with those two documents uploaded after the walk, the walk leader's work is done. We're really keen to get walks going where there are willing walk leaders so that members can get walking with their local groups once again.


When a social walk in England is led for no more than 6 people, including the walk leader, then the Risk Assessment is not specifically required, although it would be accepted good practice to use it to shape how a walk might be led during the COVID pandemic.


We’re aware that members might have questions about why the new rules are required. We have answered some questions that we’ve already been asked and placed them at:


https://ldwa.org.uk/website/downloads/toolkit/13082020_LG_Zoom_Question_and_Answers_V2.pdf


We’ve also updated the existing guidelines on how to lead a social walk to ensure that they take COVID into account. It’s a really good idea for walk leaders to be sighted on the guidelines and they can be read at:


https://ldwa.org.uk/website/downloads/toolkit/Leading_Social_Walks_Guidance_v2_0.pdf


You might be interested to learn that Sport England read our risk assessment and guidelines and specifically commented on the need for inclusivity, so we'd like walk leaders to take this into account as well.


Thank you for your patience and understanding. We know that this isn't an easy process, but we are very grateful for every social walk that can take place.


Regards,


David Morgan, LDWA Chair

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