Let's Walk Braybrook
About Let's Walk Braybrook
“I'm 83 now… I like to keep moving. I walk and I meet friends...I'm on my own but I have a lot of friends. It's community that keeps me going really.” Arthur, Let’s Walk Braybrook participant.
Funded by the Victorian State Government, Let’s Walk Braybrook, was a pilot partnership between Victoria Walks and Maribyrnong City Council to encourage the people of Braybrook to discover walking routes in their community and feel inspired to walk every day. The project was launched by City of Maribyrnong Mayor, Cr Catherine Cumming, State member for Footscray, Marsha Thomson MP and Colleen Hartland MP, Western Metropolitan Region.
Social interaction is a key enabler for walking. It is recognised that populated streets are generally safer and more appealing streets for walking. Let’s Walk Braybrook sought to map neighbourhood walks where people already feel safe to walk and encourage more people to walk them through engagement and activation.
This collaborative program encourages safe and accessible local journeys particularly for women and seniors – a great foundation for a more connected community.
The Let’s Walk Braybrook project has three elements:
Map routes: Four neighbourhood routes were mapped. They are easy to access online and in pamphlet form at the Braybrook Community Hub. The easy-to-follow maps share local journeys with detailed descriptions and features so that people can choose a nearby walking route that best fits their ability, access and time. Features include parks, playgrounds, gardens, public artworks, community services and retail outlets.
Wayfinding: Two walking routes are marked with colourful footpath decals. Local organisations and groups, including Burmese Chin Playgroup, Western Bulldogs Sons of the West participants, were invited to walk the routes.
Engagement: Let’s Walk Braybrook Community Engagement Coordinator initially sought opportunities to speak with people of all ages to collect information about where people already walk, where they feel safe to walk, and where they won’t walk and why. This walking inquiry took place at playgroups, council meetings, network meetings, walking groups and community celebrations. The Let’s Walk Braybrook Community Engagement Coordinator contacted the Braybrook On Board (BOB) Community Leadership Program graduates and was invited to present at their next monthly meeting. They thought Let’s Walk Braybrook would be a positive project for the community and offered to support it. The Community Leadership graduates have been, and continue to be, supportive of Let’s Walk Braybrook. They supported the Let’s Walk Braybrook Project by delivering eight hundred printed maps to Braybrook households.
Maribyrnong City Council provided further funds to extend Let’s Walk Braybrook engagement and activation into Winter 2017. Central West Shopping Centre, in Braybrook, partnered with Maribyrnong City Council and Victoria Walks to create Let’s Walk Central West Winter Walks in June. Participants enjoyed a Pop- Up @ Central West to find out about the four walks in June and sign up. Engagement strategies at the Pop-up included map and balloon display, Facebook photo competition, prize and Braybrook-themed giveaways.
Results & Testimonials
Let’s Walk Braybrook survey results:
82.76% of survey respondents had heard about Let’s Walk Braybrook.
62.07% of survey respondents said Let’s Walk Braybrook had inspired them to walk more often.
93.10% of survey respondents think the maps are useful to encourage Braybrook locals to walk more.
82.76% of survey respondents are female aged 25-70 years old.
“I am very happy with the program because we can do some exercise. After that I feel really, really very good. I have made lots of friends here. I think it’s a good program. I am happy to come every Friday, even if it’s cold. My baby enjoys it as well.”
Elizabeth, Let’s Walk Braybrook participant
“I’ve seen parts of Braybrook in the last 2 weeks I’ve never seen before. I know it’s there but when you walk around you can take it all in.”
Sandra, Let’s Walk Braybrook participant
“When I heard about Let’s Walk Braybrook I had just had an operation and I think the idea is a great way to get more people to know their neighbours and get more people on the streets. Now that I am well enough to move and the weather is better I can get out and walk. The only time I can walk is after dinner when my family are fed and my sons are doing their homework. I always drag my husband out because I don’t like to walk in the streets alone. In the last few weeks I have been walking by myself because it is light until about 8.30pm and Braybrook Park is well lit now and has no traffic noise. Last week there were 2 other women walking the same route and we were all walking alone. Each time I passed one I would say hello and ask a question. After 3 laps, we finally stopped and said, “Why don’t we walk together?” The 3 of us started walking and talking together, sharing our stories and enjoying the connections. One woman has just moved from Sydney to Braybrook and doesn’t know anyone in Braybrook. The other one has lived in Braybrook for 13 years but has always been too scared to walk in the streets alone. We had an enjoyable conversation, talking about our families and parenting skills and healthy eating and discovered we lived close to each other, one even in my street! That night we walked each other home. We made a promise to walk together 3 times a week and encourage each other. My husband is very happy.”
Soraya, Let’s Walk Braybrook participant