Walk and Talk Blog (May 2021)

Parents walking their babies on strollers

Lockdown is beginning to lift, and if you’re anything like me, you will be desperate to get out and about and see real people. Baby groups were an absolute essential for me with my older two when they were babies, and their absence for my youngest has been really hard. Times certainly have been strange and having a baby in 2020/2021 has been a unique experience. After months of being cooped up with nowhere to go and only seeing new faces via zoom calls, it is time to start our social life back up. The Walk and Talk sessions offer a great opportunity to get some much-needed fresh air and meet other parents and babies.

We arrived at our first Walk and Talk session at Bearpark Picnic Area and could barely see out of the windscreen for the driving hail! I would have turned around, but it takes such a lot to get a 5-month old baby out of the house and the leader had said it would go ahead in ‘all weathers’ so we decided to give it a go, assuming we would be the only ones there. I should have known better than to underestimated the Durham mums though and soon a small crowd of us formed, with all those lucky babies warm and cosy under their rain-covers.  Well, ‘all weathers’ turned out to be just the phrase and we saw rain, hail, wind and finally sunshine as we strolled. The walk offered the perfect opportunity to chat with other mums and share the hardship of having a small baby during a global pandemic. The benefit of walking with other parents with small babies is that no one batted an eye as the party stopped for the babies who wanted carrying (mine included here), potty stops and the other joys that small people can bring to an outing. 

I believe it is so essential to a new parent’s mental health to have other parents to share with, and I certainly felt a lift as the wind almost literally blew away the cobwebs. The chance to vent or to seek advice and ideas and to get that much needed solidarity has been sorely missed during my baby’s first few months, while baby groups couldn’t go ahead, and I’m confident that I’m not alone in feeling this.  Walk and Talk provides a great, Covid secure stepping stone back to normal life, or to our new-normal at the very least. To maintain safety; parents book a place to limit numbers to 15, scan the track and trace QR code and maintain social distance (of course!). Sites have been carefully considered to be buggy friendly, not to mention the beautiful natural surroundings that Durham does so well. There are a number of different locations around Durham (including Durham River-side and Rainton Meadows) so you should easily find a session best for you and your little one. I recommend giving it a go, and I wish you pleasant weather (but maybe remember your coat just in case)!

- Bryony, Branch Volunteer

 

Sarah, our Walk and Talk leader had the following to say:

'Our Walk and Talks have been really popular since we launched in January with many parents coming every week, they've been a real lifeline for some of our mums who have felt really isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to continue these walks beyond the pandemic as an alternative to traditional parent and baby groups'

 

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