Bridleway Celebration and Health Aid Step Counts
On the 4th May a celebration on the completion of a number of projects focused around the bridleway from Callerton Lane to the Airport took place with representation from organisations, volunteers, committee members and our MP Guy Opperman. The final project was the installation of the step counts at 5 points along the 2 mile route, funded by the Community Foundation “Out & About” fund. This inclusion of the step counts is an aid to general health and part of a health recovery programme which links into the Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2018-2020 between NCC and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
For over 4 years the community has contributed to the Ponteland Community Partnership by improving this local facility which started life as the railway line from Gosforth in the early 1900’s, closing to passengers in 1960’s. Over the following years it was used as a path and then a bridleway. The Neighbourhood Plan inspired the initial pruning event 3 years ago, when the steering group proposed the bridleway to be part of the “Wildlife Corridor” and through the examination process it was given this status; identifying the need for open and green spaces as a vital part of a vibrant and healthy community in mind and body.
The final project was the installation of the step counts at 5 points along the 2 mile route. The volunteers are quite diverse, representing the community and 13 local organisations. Work started with a bridleway revamp, reinstatement of part of the old railway path, planting trees, wild flowers, bulbs and lastly the installation of step counts at each of the educational pedestals.
The Community Partnership’s work has been recognised by being awarded a Highly Commended Love Northumberland Awards 2 years running and has supported the Town Council in the entries to Northumberland in Bloom & Britain in Bloom.
Over the years there has been a significant increase of use from all age’s dog walkers, joggers, ramblers and cyclists for recreation, environmental and health reasons.
Ponteland has a higher than average elderly population with an increased need for safe areas for exercise and keeping fit this is why we are now working with both local GP Practices to promote this route for their patients as part of a health rehabilitation programme for both body and mind. The route is surrounded by fields newly planted trees bulbs and wild flowers with perch benches and educational pedestals showing scenes of local heritage and the natural environment. This is why we are promoting the Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy between NCC & NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
Quote from Ponteland Community Partnership “The success of our projects has by far exceeded all expectations and this must be down to 3 things, selecting meaningful projects that the community have got behind, the ability for accessing funding required and the continuous support of our volunteers – who never let us down. We will continue to look for new projects for the benefit of the community and consider other topics that may be appropriate as Ponteland changes in the future.
Cllr Veronica Jones portfolio folder said “It’s really important to get into the habit of regular physical activity and this is a lovely way to do this that is suitable for all ages. It’s a great idea to have the step markers and gives that little extra incentive to the walk.”
Guy Opperman MP said” It was a pleasure to celebrate the reopening of the old railway line footpath embracing the healthy living programme. I was able to thank the dozens of volunteers and organisations who have done so much on this project. I look forward to the next project which I am fully behind”
Counting Steps on 4th May
To celebrate this latest venture come and meet up on the 4th May for 11.30 at Callerton Lane car park where volunteers, Councillors and the Partnership’s supporters like the CPRE, Marianne Foster and Guy Opperman our MP, who is aiming to join us all for a photo.
You may then like to walk the route!
We all need some kind of exercise to improve physical and mental health especially with our busy lives. Easter is behind us and summer approaching fast so why not visit the bridleway from Callerton Lane to the Airport as part of getting “out and about”.
You don’t have to count the steps as it is already done for you. At each of the information pedestals the number of steps to be walked is displayed in both directions and there are perch benches if you need a rest on route.
The counted steps idea has been organised by the Community Partnership with the support of the Community Foundation “Out & About” fund. The aim is to encourage residents to improve their general wellbeing and to provide an alternative to a gym as an aid to health recovery.
This project supports the Northumberland’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018-2028 which has a joint duty between Northumberland County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS). The overall aim is to maximise the wellbeing and health of Northumberland’s residents and reduce inequalities.
Healthy Lifestyle Initiative
This is a new Ponteland Community Partnership pilot project improve general health and the quality of life. This started on the 12th April and is set to continue for several months due to an excellent turn out making full use of a drop in facility to have blood pressure and weight checks at Ponteland Primary Care Medical Centre on the Meadowfield Industrial Estate.
The Ponteland Community Partnership’s Ambassador for this event “Special Jon Gray” was the first to take advantage of this scheme. He commented that as one gets older and exercise reduces the waist expands, so it’s good to take stock and get professional guidance on what to do to stay healthy – I will be coming back next month. All other comments were very complementary.
Why not come to our next ‘Monthly Drop- In’ 10th May, this facility fits outside the NHS but will be hosted by the White Medical Group for all residents over the age of 18 and those who work in Ponteland on the second Friday afternoon 2-4.00pm of each month.
The ‘Monthly Drop – In’ completely confidential will be manned by a medical professional available to check BP and weight reduction or gain; no appointment is required, but please understand this is not a substitute for a Doctor’s appointment. You will be greeted at the entrance of the Medical Centre by representatives of the Community Partnership who will take you to the waiting area and give you a simple record card which you will be responsible for to bring back on any further visits. You will not be required to give any personal details this is purely anonymous and will be kept safely with you.
Get healthy get walking feel the benefits’
No matter what your age or your current physical ability, select a suitable walking distance along the bridleway from Callerton Lane to Newcastle International Airport. Take a friend and your mobile phone.
This is an enjoyable and effective way to improve health and well-being; to relieve stress, increase fitness, improve physical and mental health, and prevent the development of chronic diseases bringing people of all ages and abilities together – to feel great.
The Way Markers Project is linked into the revamped bridleway and has been undertaken by the Ponteland Community Partnership supported by the Community Foundation “Out and About” fund and Northumberland County Councils “Ageing Well Strategy”.
Over the past 2 years, the bridleway between Callerton Lane to Newcastle International Airport has become a wildlife corridor due to the “Made” Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan 2017. Since then the Community Partnership has organised and delivered a series of projects, thanks to the hard work of many volunteers with litter picking, hand pruning, foot path reinstatement, and wild flowers and bulb planting along this route. Funding from the Community Foundation LEAF fund and the Community Chest has also enabled the Ponteland Community Partnership to install 5 educational pedestals and perch benches along the bridleway.
Recent visitors will now have seen the installation of 5 way markers for the purpose of setting out the distance by steps between each information pedestal. They are positioned at each pedestal from Callerton Lane to the Airport along the bottom bar of the structure, telling you the number of steps in both directions still to be walked. If needed, the perch bench allows the walker to catch their breath, take in the view before moving on.
This is all part of a number of projects starting this spring undertaken by the Ponteland Community Partnership to encourage greater community participation in activities and improve the quality of life for those who live and work in Ponteland.
Watch out for more information about other projects undertaken by the Ponteland Community Partnership in the monthly Pont News & Views, view our website: www.pontelandcommunitypartnership.co.uk
Youth Survey carried out at High School – to seek young people’s views
During December 2018 and January 2019 the Community Partnership, their Student Advisor and the High School surveyed Years 9 to 13 about their spare time.
The survey was conducted as an internal on-line system and the principle aims of this survey were:
- To find out what young people do in their spare time,
- What they think of the youth provision at the moment and
- What they would appreciate being provided in the near future.
The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan had identified an under provision for unplanned activities for young people in 2017 during the preparation of the neighbourhood plan. In late autumn 2018 the Ponteland Community Partnership decided, with the help of their Student Advisor and the support of the Head teacher at Ponteland High School to survey the school population about their current spare time activities with the aim of identifying suitable activities for the youth in the future.
The background evidence of the recent Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan shows clearly the available activities at that time in 2017, since then the play and skate park has been removed as part of the new School and Leisure Centre development and with no youth service provision at the Youth Hut it only leaves Twizell Place for youth unplanned activities to take place. We recognise that on the completion of the new School Leisure Complex there will be more opportunities for planned activities than ever before. The Community Partnership feels that casual facilities should be made available for unplanned activity to help provide healthy physical and mental development especially for the younger generation of our community; who so easily get forgotten.
Youth Past Provision – Play Park, Skate Park, limited Youth Service activities and Twizell Place
Youth Current Provision – Twizell Place
Youth Future Provision – Relocated Play Park with the future of Twizell Park uncertain
The questions in the survey were put together by our PCP student advisor and the chair of the Ponteland Community Partnership with an aim to keep the survey brief and outlining how the views of these young people would help for a better understanding of what kind of provision is needed by understanding their current hobbies, activities and aspirations.
Based on this survey the youth a requesting 3 things:
- Firstly, a safe indoor area specifically for the youth, where they can meet their friends, relax and enjoy themselves where they will not be judged as troublesome.
- A small outdoor area for a knock about for unplanned activity.
- An improved system for advertising information on “What’s On”, Where and When.
What happened next?
A meeting took place at the High School between the Community Partnership, the High School and the Youth Service to discuss the responses from the survey. There is another meeting planned later in the year after the community partnership’s AGM when members will have the opportunity to review the situation.
It is anticipated that a further meeting will take place inviting other interested organisations.