Pupils set to ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’ their way to school

This month, primary schools pupils across Hackney will be stepping out to mark National Walk to School Week 2009 (18-22 May).

Hackney Council is supporting Walk to School Week with a competition, where pupils taking part can win great prizes as well as hang out with friends and stay healthy.

Pupils across the borough will be encouraged to take up the challenge to ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’ on their way to school to experience the health and social benefits that walking together provides for individuals and communities.

The winning student will receive a digital camera and get a visit at their school from the Kiss FM breakfast show team to record a podcast.

Currently, about half of all primary children don’t walk to school regularly with as many as 41 per cent travelling by car, despite the average distance to school being around one mile.

Whilst the health benefits of walking are becoming well recognised, the social aspect of being out and about each day is often underestimated. The walk to school is an excellent time for parents, carers and children to enjoy quality time together, away from the stresses of traffic jams.

It’s not only adult-child relationships that benefit. Pupils get time to socialise with their friends, and parents get time to catch up on school and playground news, making it a friendly, healthy time for all.

Councillor Alan Laing, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Walking is a fun and healthy way to travel to and from school that can help reduce traffic congestion and save time for parents. This is a great time for everyone to think about sustainable transport in Hackney and to do their bit in our bid to tackle climate change.”

National charity Living Streets runs the Walk to School campaign, which encourages over two million children, parents and teachers to leave their cars at home and walk to school.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said: “We are delighted that Walk to School Week is part of the Change4life movement from the Department of Health and challenge everyone to give walking a go during Walk to School Week. We think you’ll be amazed at how enjoyable a regular walk can be. It’s one of the cheapest, greenest, most enjoyable ways you can spend regular quality time together, and reap health rewards for all the family!”

For more information about National Walk to School Week please visit:

To find out about Hackney’s competition and more about walking and cycling to school in the borough visit: