So today I met up with a local health walking group who walk a short distance every Thursday at 1:30pm.
It is operated by Dundee Health Team and they help people get outside by walking around Dudhope Park. I spoke to a few walkers, whose names I cannot say due to ethics but from what they said, it was interesting.
Walker A: “Getting outside helps me a lot with not feeling S.A.D during the winter when most days get dark around mid-afternoon”
Walker B: “I like getting out the house, even when it is not the best weather”
On the walk, I got talking to the walk leader, who was standing in for the usual person who runs the group.
As we were on the walk, we go talking about how people find out about the group and the challenge that she and the Council currently faces when getting people to join up to the group.
She explained that “People like yourself have no idea we exist”. As I told her I only lived 5 minutes a long the road. “We are having a chat with the council about getting the word around by using traditional means such as word of mouth and leaflets, but more recently we have been looking at creating an app”.
When I asked about how they would get people to know about it, she said she had considered that having it printed on leaflets alongside the details of the walks in the local area. Which I also thought was the most effective way of getting the word around.
She also stated that these walks help everyone, from all backgrounds, from the elderly and the disabled, to people who just want to get out in open spaces and people who are going through some personal issues.
It was also apparent that some people who attend the walks are not able to use the technology, such as the elderly and the disabled, but she and Walker A made very good points, that I had not previously considered.
The group leader had said, “if they had handed out the leaflets to carers and people who were using phones in their social groups, also the younger group members, then they would use it for them, and in turn would get them into newer surroundings they had not considered before, also the latest news.”
Walker A, who was one of the older members, also said that “It would be very useful if someone in my social circle, where I stay, who use their smartphones, would use this app and be ale to notify me of any changes or new walks in my area”.
I am going to be making a user journey in the next week, which outlines where the group starts and ends, as it is important as they all meet up in a social hub in the local park and I think that could be somewhere I could look at.