School children across the UK are being asked to don their walking boots again in May to take part in this year’s Walk to School Week.
Organised by UK charity Living Streets, Walk To School Week challenges schools and their pupils to walk to school more during the week.
Kathryn Shaw, from Living Street, said: It’s a great way to celebrate walking and can be a stepping stone to year-round activity.
“Last year, more than 14,000 classes took part – that’s approximately 400,000 children walking to school.”
Walk To School Week runs from May 16 to May 22 with the main fund-raising element taking place on Tuesday, May 17, which is known as ‘happy shoesday’.
Children and teachers will wear the shoes that make them the happiest and donate £1 to the charity.
Money raised will go to Living Streets for work with schools, disability groups and local communities, and campaigning work to make UK streets safer for everyone.
David Graham, head of strategy for schools at Living Streets, commented: “Walking to school is a free and easy way for children to build exercise into their day.
“Physically active children are more alert, ready to learn and achieve better grades than those who are driven.
“The majority of children are not getting their recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise.
“At Living Streets, we know that encouraging more children to walk to school is one of the best places to start to tackle this inactivity.
“Walk to School Week is a really effective way of encouraging families to swap four wheels for two feet.
“I’d encourage anyone to get involved and take part in something great.”
Kathryn Shaw continued: “We want to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness and social isolation and making walking the natural choice.
“We believe that a walking nation means progress for everyone.
“Our ambition is to get people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings and to ensure all our streets are fit for walking.
For more than 85 years we’ve been a beacon for walking.
“In our early days our campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits.
“Now, our campaigns and local projects deliver real change to overcome barriers to walking and our ground-breaking initiatives, such as the world’s biggest walk to school campaign, encourage millions of people to walk.
“Our Walk to School campaign has been going for more than 20 years and supports more than a million children in 4,000 schools to walk more through our Walk Once a Week initiative and Walk to School Week, making it one of the UK’s leading behaviour change campaigns for young people.
Schools interested in getting involved should contact Living Streets for more information about available resources on 020 74569794 or visit www.livingstreets.org.uk