Funded by Active Essex, River Walks brought together diverse communities in Chelmsford and surrounding areas to encourage exercise and healthy eating, through a series of cooking workshops and guided walks along the River Chelmer, River Can and River Wid.
150 people took part in the project, joining at least one of 10 walks throughout Autumn/Winter 2023, each with a family focus, open to all ages and abilities. We encouraged attendees at the end of each walking session to share traditional healthy food tips and recipes from various cultural backgrounds, alongside cooking demonstrations by Essex based community chef Jitty Bajaj.
Community groups taking part in and supporting the project included Sikhs of Chelmsford, Chelmsford Hindu Society, Chelmsford Muslim Society, the NGDA (New Generation Development Agency) a Young People diversity group, and the Afro-Caribbean community in the city.
The walks started and finished at Essex Record Office (ERO) where the River Chelmer and the River Can divide, with ERO being the focal meeting point for all community groups.
We hosted a finale celebration gathering and sharing event after the last session at Hamptons Leisure Centre with food.
Overall, the project was very well received by community groups, with a various range of people from diverse backgrounds on each walk, the majority in the age range of 45-60 with participation from extended families and young people. In the long term these community groups are keen to explore more walks along the Chelmsford Rivers taking place in the Spring and Summer seasons.
”I have lived in Chelmsford for over 25 years and never knew that the Chelmsford Rivers had walking routes, our group thoroughly enjoyed the walks sessions along the rivers and meeting new people’’ Sheena Nawaz
”Sharing of different cultures and traditions through food combined with walking sessions was very enjoyable for my family” Ravinder Kaur