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Evaluation of Walking Works Pathfinder Employers Scheme
BHFNC was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation of Living Streets’ Walking Works Pathfinder Employers Scheme (January 2009 to December 2011). As part of the project, which was funded by BIG Lottery, Living Streets worked with five employers from different sectors in five regions of England to increase awareness and promote walking for the journey to and from work and walking during the working day. The evaluation report presents an assessment of the delivery of the project as well as findings from an employee survey conducted in each organisation.
Walking Champions in each workplace were responsible for planning and delivering project activities with support from Living Streets. A variety of activities were delivered across the organisations with some organisations taking part in Living Streets’ national campaign activities (Walk to Work Week and the mince pie calculator promotion) as well as delivering other initiatives such as pedometer programmes and other promotional activities.
Some key findings from this evaluation include:
- The Walking Works Pathfinder Employers Scheme (PES) has the potential to benefit employers by supporting organisational agendas around employee health and well-being and sustainable travel, assisting organisations to meet carbon reduction targets and helping employees to consider alternative forms of travel when new car parking restrictions come into force, eg, preceding and following a move to new premises.
- Volunteer walking champions (WCs) can be used to deliver activities to promote walking in the workplace, however WCs may find it challenging to balance planning and delivering project activities with completing their normal daily business activities which usually take priority.
- Engaging senior managers at the start of the project and maintaining their support throughout the project is important both for linking the project with wider organisational strategies, for raising the profile of the project and for securing employee involvement.
- WCs were grateful for the resources and support provided by Living Streets which facilitated the implementation of a number of PES activities.
- Whilst promotional activities delivered in the workplace may help to change attitudes towards walking in the short-term, environmental or policy changes both within and outside the workplace may be required to encourage a longer-term increase in walking during the working day and a shift in behaviour change away from using the car to walking for the all, or some, of daily commute.
Further information about Living Streets' Walking Works project, and how to get involved, is available at http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/our-projects/walking-works
- Publication Date:
- 28 Mar 2012