The council has announced this week that it is one of 13 authorities chosen to deliver a new pilot scheme aimed at encouraging adults to choose ‘active travel’.

The government has given Cornwall Council around £840,000 to boost the number of people who pick healthy forms of transport instead of jumping in their cars as part of their daily lives.

Active travel means getting from A to B in a more physically active way, for example walking, cycling, and ‘wheeling’ (using a wheelchair).

Falmouth Packet: People are being encouraged to walk and cycle more in the Duchy People are being encouraged to walk and cycle more in the Duchy (Image: Stock)

The scheme will get people involved through ‘social prescribing’, which sees people connected to activities, groups, and services in their community to boost their health and wellbeing. They can be referred by a range of professionals, such as GPs.

The Active Travel Social Prescribing (ATSP) pilot will initially focus on three areas – Penzance, Bodmin and St Austell and the China Clay Areas.

Cornwall Council has now employed three health improvement practitioners (HIPs) who will work one-on-one with eligible adults to identify and overcome barriers to active travel. At the same time, community groups and organisations are being given the chance to apply for funding for activities and provisions that will help people living in the tree pilot areas embrace active travel.

Cllr Andy Virr, cabinet member for adults and public health at Cornwall Council, said: “It’s great news that Cornwall has been chosen to deliver one of the 13 national Active Travel Social Prescribing pilots.

“Switching to an active form of travel in day-to-day life will not only help the environment, but it also has huge health and wellbeing benefits.

“If this sounds appealing, then why not speak to your GP or other social prescriber in your area about it? And if you’re a group or organisation that can help deliver active travel in one of those three areas, then please get in touch – we can offer funding to help embed active travel in your community.”

Community groups or organisations can apply for funding via the webpage at Active Travel Social Prescribing Fund – Cornwall Council.

Proposals might include cycling or e-bike hire, safety gear provision or bike maintenance courses, cycle storage, walking groups, or projects that might table barriers to inclusion and accessibility.

Professionals can refer to adults for support from a Health Improvement Practitioner via the Health Cornwall website.

More information can be found on the pilot, by visiting the Cornwall Council website.