A CHARITY is set to launch a new project aimed at getting people out and about as they face later life.

East Durham Trust will host the Walk Together programme that will see over 40 walks staged across the district with over 300 people taking part.

The project is funded by County Durham Community Foundation as part of their Enriching Later Life initiative and is aimed at promoting physical activity and tackling social isolation.

Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “Research shows that as people approach later life their social networks and contact with others reduces.

“Ultimately this can lead to issues around loneliness and affect mental wellbeing- this project is looking to simply give people the opportunity to mix whilst getting a degree of physical exercise at the same time.”

The walks will be aimed at people aged over 50 and will start and finish at local community venues – always ending with a cup of tea.

Margaret Vaughan, of the County Durham Community Foundation said: “As most people are aware County Durham has an ageing population and it is great to be in a position to support an initiative that seeks to provide a vital social connection for people”.

The project will use local volunteers as walk leaders and the official launch is being staged on Friday, which is the opening day of Volunteers Week – a national celebration of volunteering and what it brings to society.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project should ring the project co-ordinator Alison Pattison on 0191-5693511.