Health project encourages people in Washington to be more active

Sunderland councillors and community groups helped launch a health and wellbeing project earlier this week at the Springwell Village Community Venue.

The project Washington Way, part of the Washington Way to Well Being initiative, is an extensive network of paths and routes suitable for a wide range of users.

It is supported and funded through the Washington Area Committee and its main aim is to develop initiatives to tackle health issues and help residents become more active by using local green spaces.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “The development of the Washington Way makes it easier for local people to walk, run and cycle, as well as access Washington’s beautiful green spaces, wildlife and key heritage attractions.

“This fantastic project links to a broader approach to tackling health issues across the area by encouraging use of this free resource.

“By creating improved shared links between the villages of Washington, the local community can access a wide range of services and leisure facilities, including the new leisure centre, without having to take the car.”

Washington Area Committee approved over £100k of funding to improve and extend the network and also financially supported a number of local organisations to provide related activities.

It is estimated that using the network, all parts of Washington will be within 15 minutes walk of the Galleries shopping area.

Councillor Linda Williams, Chair of the Washington Area Committee, added: “It is great to see the project at this exciting stage.

“As a group, we recognised that we had a fantastic opportunity to make a great positive change with this project.

“The key to the success of the initiative will be the development of the Washington ‘hub’.”
Based at the Life House, in Columbia, the hub will provide dedicated space for the Washington Way to Well Being activities and also help support a co-ordinated approach to promoting key health messages.

It will enable the delivery of a range of schemes focussed on encouraging residents to make the most of the Washington Way as well as being the base for a local cycle project.

To find out more information on walking or to download heritage walking maps go to www.activesunderland.org.uk

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