Walking for Wellbeing!

The Step Up Crew at Cessnock have been lacing up their sneakers once a week to go walking 1:1 with Support Worker Trish as part of their Fitness and Wellbeing program.

Step Up is Mai-Wel LabourForce Solution’s pre-employment support program for young people with disability who are building skills for work after leaving school. The Fitness and Wellbeing program aims to help participants to get fit for work, promoting healthy body and mind, building physical skills for the workplace and working on socialising and communication all at the same time.

Throughout lockdown it has not been possible for the Step Up crew, made up of Jessica, Thomas and Mikala, to meet face-to-face. However, a few weeks ago an opportunity arose for Support Worker Trish to meet each of the Step Up participants individually and go explore their local LGA’s together!

Now, each participant is visited by Trish 1:1 to get out of the house and into the sunshine for their hour long Fitness and Wellbeing program. Before heading out into the community, our participants are asked to complete a wellness check, and social distancing regulations are maintained at all times to ensure everyone is safe.

Each individual has been able to visit the amazing scenery around their local LGA’s and appreciate the beauty in their natural surroundings. Thomas loves to explore the bushland around his home and Mikala also has access to some amazing walking tracks nearby home. Jess loves to visit Peace Park at Weston for her hour of fitness.

Going for a walk 1:1 with Trish also encourages conversation to express feelings and experiences during lockdown.

Already, each member of the crew has commented on what a difference it has been to their wellbeing and mental health!

“Being able to get out and talk to someone again and have that face to face support has given me a sense of purpose and it’s something I am looking forward to each week now,” says Thomas. “I feel better both on the inside and out for getting out an about.”

Mikala has also been thoroughly enjoying their walks with Trish and is noticing the benefits.

“I want [to] keep doing the Fitness and Wellbeing sessions every week, even after lockdown ends. It is such a great idea and very good for my health.”

All three agree on one thing – they miss everyone and can’t wait to get back to Mai-Wel!

If you’re interested in pre-employment supports with Mai-Wel’s Step Up in Maitland or Cessnock, head to our website for more information.


Image 1: Jessica sitting on a sandstone block at Peace Park.

Image 2: Thomas preparing for a walk around his local neighbourhood. 

Image 3: Mikala walking down a bush track in her LGA. 

Image 4: Support Worker Trish walking down a bush track. 

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