Pupils in Edinburgh were joined by a special guest on Wednesday (17 May) to celebrate this year’s Walk to School Week.
Walk to School Week (15-19 May) is run by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, and aims to encourage families to walk to school every day throughout the week.
Pupils at St. John’s RC Primary School, Edinburgh were welcomed by Strider, the Living Streets mascot after their walk to school to celebrate reaching the week’s midway point.
The pupils also take part in WOW - the year-round walk to school challenge from Living Streets, so the event provided a good opportunity to celebrate the school’s success.
Chris Thompson, Schools and Projects Coordinator, Living Streets said:
“We’re really happy to have been able to celebrate Walk to School Week with St. John’s RC Primary School. The pupils and staff here are all extremely enthusiastic and a great advert for walking to school.
“Just because the week of celebration is over, it doesn’t mean families have to stop. We’re thrilled that the school already take part in WOW – our year-round walk to school challenge, so they can continue to experience the benefits of walking to school all year-round.”
Barbara Service, Head Teacher at St John’s RC Primary School, said:
“So many more of our pupils and their parents and carers now choose to walk, cycle or scoot to school thanks to the School Streets scheme. It’s helping everyone stay healthy and active while keeping the whole school community safe at the start and end of the school day.”
St. John’s RC Primary School pupils are already very active, having been part of the City of Edinburgh Council’s School Streets road closure scheme. The scheme prohibits traffic on surrounding roads at the beginning and end of the school day, allowing children to walk to school without being surrounded by vehicles.
Clare, Parent at St John’s Primary, Edinburgh, said:
“It’s been fantastic. It just makes you feel safer when the children are coming into school, so that you don’t have to worry that there’s going to be lots of cars. It’s made a huge difference because we’ve always walked to school and there’s been a significant change.”
The celebrations at St. John’s coincided with the launch of a new active travel campaign announced by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf which encourages people to walk for short journeys at least one day a week. The ‘Walk Day Wednesday’ campaign focuses on long-term behaviour change and is calling on people to walk to work or school by leaving the car so they reap the health and environmental benefits.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“I send my best wishes to the pupils of St John’s RC Primary for their fantastic efforts for Walk to School Week. They are setting a great example, showing how simple changes to our daily routine can make us healthier and help the environment.
“We have just launched our own “Walk Day Wednesday” campaign, which encourages people to walk to work or school at least once a week. I hope more people will follow the lead of the St John’s pupils by leaving the car at home and taking the healthier and greener travel choice.”
This Walk to School Week, the charity is urging members of the public to rate their walk to school via www.livingstreets.org.uk/rateyourwalk - participants will be entered into a prize draw to win a UK city break.