The Nelson Newcomers Network Walking Group has been very popular and is looking at starting a second walking group. The weekly walks are a fantastic opportunity for people to get out and socialise, make new friends, exercise and see new places around the Nelson region. Wether people have been in Nelson for 1 week or for years, the group welcomes everyone. The beauty of a newcomer groups like the walking group is the connections people make. It is great to see people exchange phone numbers and arranging to meet for other activities. It is a place where friendships are started.
This was certainly the case for Karin and John who rattled of a list of friends they made through the Nelson Newcomers Network. Karin and John met 10 years ago at a walking group in Christchurch. They got married and moved to Nelson in 2012, after the earthquakes. Together with a couple of others, they started walking as part of the Nelson Newcomers Network. Sometimes only 3 people turned up. That did not matter, they loved the walks and continued on. Now the group has an average of 12 walkers in winter, and in summer the group has expanded to as many as 24.
Karin is now the volunteer coordinator for the Tuesday walking group. She loves organising the weekly walks and is rewarded by listening to all the chatter and laughter. She says ” Sometimes people are not even aware of where they are walking because they talk so much”. Karin’s husband and walker John said that others find the weekly walks a great opportunity to get to know areas they would otherwise not visit. A walker lately said “I did not know it was so lovely here”. The weekly walk is a highlight of the week for many, John says.
The current walking group meets every Tuesday from 10am till about 11:30am and after the walk most walkers join together for a cuppa at a local cafe. The walks are usually flat or slightly hilly but not too demanding. Due to the large size of the group the Nelson Newcomers Network is looking for a volunteer coordinator to organise and facilitate a second walking group.