Leeds pupils walk their way to health in Walk to School Week

Thousands of children and young people across Leeds will be leaving the car or bus behind and taking the pathway to health by walking to school next week.

Their efforts will be part of national Walk to School Week 2015 (18 to 25 May), an annual campaign run by the charity Living Streets. This year the focus of the campaign is all about the health benefits of walking, with each day of the week focusing on a different benefit: healthy body; health and happiness; healthy habits; healthy friends and family and; a healthy environment.

Schools across Leeds are holding a host of events during Walk to School Week from themed walks and healthy breakfasts, to pedometer competitions and walking buses.

Leeds City Council has donated £50 worth of shopping vouchers to 42 lucky schools to help them to promote the event, while 34 Leeds schools have also signed up to complete an online challenge called Walkshire during Walk to School Week. This is a fun and educational initiative developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to encourage pupils to walk, scoot and cycle their way to school. Schools who take part receive a reward pack of Walkshire stickers, pencils and badges from Leeds City Council.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for transport and the economy said:

"It’s great to see so many Leeds schools promoting car-free ways to travel to school. Encouraging children to walk to school helps them keep healthy as well as helping to reduce traffic on our roads and avoid congestion outside our school gates."

Councillor Jane Dowson, deputy executive member responsible for children’s services, said:

"Initiatives like Walkshire and Walk to School Week are a great way to capture children’s imagination and encourage them to lead healthier more active lifestyles by walking to school. It is also a great opportunity to teach children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of the day."

Notes to editors

Walk to School Week takes place as part of National Walking Month, an annual campaign run by Living Streets which promotes walking for all. Find out more at www.livingstreets.org.uk.Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, has run the Walk to School campaign since 1995. It now reaches more than 1.9 million children each year.

The Walk to School campaign’s aim is simple: to encourage all parents, children and young people to make walking to school part of their daily routine.More information about Walkshire can be found at: http://walkshire.generationm.co.uk