Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bespoke Path Leads to Health

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bespoke Path Leads to Health

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tony Henderson Environment Editor

A scheme to use a woodland to improve people's health moved up a gear yesterday with the donation of six mountain bikes by cycle firm Raleigh UK.

It means that project chiefs can bring forward plans to offer biking, as well as walking and other activities, to patients signing-up for exercise in the 1,000-acre Chopwell Wood in Gateshead.

In another milestone for the pioneering initiative, more local people have stepped forward to become physical activity mentors (PAMs).

They will act as "buddies" to patients, helping them get the most from exercise.

Retired electrician Mike McGeever, from Whickham in Gateshead, will be a cycling mentor.

Mike, who cycles 7,000 miles a year, said: "I have been a cyclist all of my life. Mentors can help and encourage people who may be apprehensive and uncertain."

The pounds 50,000 Chopwell health project was launched in June by the Forestry Commission, Gateshead Primary Care Trust, Derwentside Primary Care Trust and the Friends of Chopwell Wood. …

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