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Net-walking is keeping businesses on their toes

Mixing business with leisure has proved an enterprising way to get people walking and talking.  
Colin Barber with Sue Spong (cropped)

Colin Barber, who is Chairman of Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, set up a Net-Walking group over the summer so business people could get to know each other as they rambled through the countryside around Brentwood. 

Attending the bereavement group Walk On, which is run by the Family Support Team at Saint Francis Hospice, inspired Colin to come up with a more informal and relaxed way for local business people to network.   

And it was such a success that Colin is planning to organise the monthly Net-Walking meetings again next summer.   Colin Barber with Sue Spong

At the chambers breakfast meeting at the Marygreen Manor in Brentwood on Friday (October 14) Colin spoke about how the charity's Hospice at Home team cared for his wife Valerie before she died in September last year and how Walk On has helped him to cope with his loss.                                                                            Colin Barber and Sue Spong

"I remember years ago listening to a radio programme about the benefits of walking for bereaved people," said Colin. 

"It is a very natural way to have a conversation and get to know other people and I thought it would be a very good thing for chamber members to do." 

Colin also presented Sue Spong, a Bereavement Support Counsellor at the hospice, with donations that were collected after each walk, which will be put towards a bereavement outings.  

Sue spoke about Walk On, which has been meeting every month for the past three years and is open to service users, family and friends of service users, along with bereaved people whose loved one were cared for by the hospice. 

"There are so many benefits of walking, not just physically but psychologically," said Sue. 

"We work with a lot of sadness in the Family Support Team and we know what is like to lose a significant other.  "It is sad and painful but for that one hour a month we are together."  

To find out more about Walk On visit Saint Francis Hospice online or call Sue Spong on 01708 753319.