A mental health initiative launched by Northampton businesses to help women get walking and talking has turned one year old.
‘Women’s Wellness Walks’ was founded by granola business owner, Salma Shah, in collaboration with Saints Coffee on St Giles Street and local blogger, Sonja Goff, in June 2021 when a shadow of the pandemic was still cast over the UK.
The walks have since taken place every two weeks at Abington Park where women dust off the cobwebs, walk together, drink coffee and chat for one hour.
Reverend Kate Bottley greeted winners for three Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards
IN PICTURES: Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022
16 beaches perfect for a day trip or long weekend from Northampton, as recommended by Chron readers
Ten villages in Northamptonshire that are breathtakingly beautiful
Top 11 places to go for afternoon tea in Northamptonshire, according to Google Reviews
Reflecting on the first year of women’s wellness walks, Salma Shah said: “When we first set it up, we didn’t realise it would still be going. However, after speaking to many women, they enjoy meeting others outside of work and family structures.
“We’ve got such a lovely community and everyone is welcome.”
Salma was inspired to launch the wellness walks for women after the sudden death of her mum in December 2020.
As she navigated her grief, Salma decided she wanted to commit a portion of her granola profits to support women’s mental health. Being a small business, she sought help from Saints Coffee’s co-founder, Nicola Butler, to create something local that will make an impact.
Nicola said: “I’m so glad how the walks have continued for a full year. It’s a real testament to how much people enjoy them, get to meet new people and talk about lots of different things. The fact that we get to do this whilst walking makes it feel like an open but safe environment for people to be themselves.
“We all joined these walks at one point or another as strangers but have struck up really strong friendships, which is amazing. That’s more than we ever anticipated.”
To mark the initiative’s one year anniversary, a celebratory wellness brunch is being hosted at Saints Coffee on Sunday, July 3 at 11am.
Brunch includes coffee or tea, a freshly baked patisserie, granola yoghurt, a choice of a main dish and cake.
There will also be a masterclass on how to make bliss balls - sweet protein bites - with all ingredients provided.
Tickets for the brunch are priced at £32 and can be booked on the Saints Coffee website.