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Yeovil midwife creates walking website for parents
A MIDWIFE at Yeovil District Hospital has teamed up with her daughter to create a website which encourages parents to go out for walks with their buggies and young children.
Cathy Netley has worked at Yeovil Hospital for 20 years and, for the past eight, has been a midwife in the Women’s Hospital. But her new venture is benefiting parents across the country.
Cathy said: “We developed the website after my daughter Marie was finding it difficult to go out walking with my 18-month old grandchild Hannah.
"One route she was given by a tourism officer in the Lake District sent her up steep hills with slate steps and walls to cross.
"As a midwife I know that it is important for mums to keep fit, get out of the house and get some fresh air.
"So, with the help of my son-in-law who designed the web site, we launched walkswithbuggies.com. It can be used by walkers and tourist information officers alike.”
That was a year ago and the site is now attracting up to 2,000 visitors a month and has 3,000 registered users with nearly 400 walks on offer.
Twenty-one of these are in Somerset including Yeovil, Chard, Langport, Cheddar, Wellington, Taunton, Cheddar, the Chew Valley and Glastonbury.
Users of the site can find out the distance, gradient, terrain and facilities available along the walk.
They can also review the walks and post on new routes.
Cathy said: “The walks on our database have been tried and tested by ourselves, other parents, or those knowledgeable about routes in the great outdoors.
"We realised that the research that we have done to identify these walks will also be of use to wheelchair users and have now launched a sister website walkswithwheelchairs.com.”
Cathy is now spreading the message about the website with her patients at Yeovil Hospital in the hope that they will be encouraged to use it and keep fit.