Armley women get a passport to wander!


By Lizzie Whewell

Wander Women is a new walking initiative co-ordinated and run by one of the LS12-based SHEnanigans group ambassadors.

Danielle Johnson, who is leading on this project, came up with the idea to encourage more women to get out, about and beyond the boundaries of Leeds, having fun along the way and exploring the many accessible and beautiful reservoirs within West Yorkshire.

Danielle said: “Having such beautiful calm places to visit nearby, and really making the most of the grounding feeling these areas can give, is what’s driven me to encourage others to join me in a little wandering.

“The benefits of walking and socialising are well known and, if you drop lucky, there are cafes/ice cream vans based at some sites too – bonus! We recently went to Swinsty reservoir, took a picnic, chatted, laughed and we were all home for early afternoon. Even a couple of hours was a real lifter for the rest of the day and everyone went home smiling.

“We’ve just secured a small grant from Active Leeds ‘Get Set Leeds Local’ and, in addition to help subsidising travel and parking costs, we’ve got Wander Women ‘passports’ – for every walk you complete, you get a stamp. Participants can add up the miles they’ve walked and record anything special that helped make the day memorable too. Feels a little more like an achievement that way.”

The bi-monthly walks are easily accessible and are not intended to be a long hard slog. The group goes at a gentle pace too and that way, you see and hear more.

Danielle added: “The dream would be that loads of women get involved and, asides from having an amazing time, women from the LS12 area positively act as a role models for other areas in Leeds to either join in or start their own walking group. We’ve also talked of a night stop over somewhere, though that’s a little way off!”

Karen Peck from Active Leeds helped SHEnanigans to secure the grant. She said of the scheme: “Active Leeds were really happy to support this brilliant idea – a women’s walking group that encourages people to explore the many beautiful scenic spots outside of Leeds whilst getting some gentle exercise too.

“We really hope this group grows and gathers real pace in supporting the wellbeing of women from the LS12 area – it sounds great fun and I know that’s what SHEnanigans is all about!”

If you’re reading this, are a woman or anyone who identifies as a woman living and or working in LS12, and you fancy giving it a go, join SHEnanigans Social on Facebook/Instagram and keep an eye out for their next trip out. The team are also looking for anyone who would be willing to drive/take others (petrol costs refunded). 

Here’s to happy wandering LS12 women!

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