Jo Bryant, a strong advocate for using physical activity as a means to improve individuals health and mental wellbeing, is a community driven individual.

As part of her job role with Community 360, she leads and co-ordinates many walks across the Braintree district. This element of her role is far more than just her job, she goes above and beyond to not only support all the walkers but is passionate about her walks being fully inclusive. She ensures that those who are less mobile or vulnerable, are collected from their doors and has worked with occupational therapists which have got people back in their own homes. Her fully inclusive walks and their social element are breaking down barriers to engage those who would otherwise not be.

Hollie Wood, Active Essex Assistant Relationship Manager for Mid Essex said: “Jo is supporting and nurturing inactive people in to walking as means of increasing physical activity and that is why she deserves our one in a million award. She is an excellent motivator and takes time to get to know the participants, therefore addressing social isolation, improving all round wellbeing and inspiring others to lead the walks. Jo is truly helping us change one million lives in Essex.”

The walks Jo leads are called Finding your Feet. Initially set up in Finchingfield they have now grown to Witham and Coggeshall. These walks were set up as part of a ‘Green Prescribing’ initiative which allows GP’s to refer directly into walking activities set up in and around GP practices. Recognising that walking can be used as a gateway to increasing physical activity, they aim to encourage and support people to become more active and support good mental and physical health in the community.

The walks are also linked with the ACE weight management programmes that are run out of these surgeries, this link has worked well in supporting participants to lose weight, improve all-round mobility and generally improve their health & wellbeing.

Jo has been so pivotal in creating relationships and changing people’s lives.