Mayor's special visit to successful women's walking initiative in Redbridge

Mayor of Redbridge Roy Emmett with April Mehmet in South Park

Mayor of Redbridge Roy Emmett with April Mehmet in South Park - Credit: April Mehmet

A walking initiative in Redbridge had a special visitor last month. 

The mayor of Redbridge, Roy Emmett, turned up to South Park to join Walk It Out, an organisation founded by April Mehmet in April last year following the tragic kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard in 2021. 

The project, which runs walks all over Redbridge, aims to empower women through walking together, helping young girls and women to lead a healthy, safe and happy life in the area they live in.  

April said: “We discussed the issues females may be facing such as anxieties, health and wellbeing and women's safety."

Passionate about supporting and guiding women to feel empowered, April said confidence can lead to personal and professional success.

Walk It Out provides a range of services and activities to this aim.

April said: “It’s important to continue raising awareness and to keep campaigning. Women shouldn’t feel like we can’t go around at night and we have to speak up.

"A lot of women don’t feel confident speaking up."

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The women of Walk It Out come together every Sunday at 11am to have a stroll and a chat in green spaces.

When the initiative launched, April told this paper: "Being a woman can sometimes be challenging, so I wanted to do something which inspires women to be the best they can and to feel good about themselves. 

"Walking and talking comes together naturally and has physical and mental health benefits."

The women get a chance to bond and share their thoughts, experiences and anxieties. This creates a safe environment where they feel acknowledged, heard and valued and are able to speak openly.

Walk It Out was awarded a Mayor's Community Awards 2022 at Redbridge Town Hall on March 10. 

April Mehmet of Walk It Out receives her award at the Mayor's Community Awards 2022

Community Champion April Mehmet of Walk It Out receives her award from Cllr Roy Emmett - Credit: Ken Mears

The organisation plans to venture out to other boroughs such as Newham, Havering and central London.

Despite having no funding, April hopes to keep expanding in members and envisions a community in which women - regardless of race, ethnicity,  income or social status - are empowered to reach their full potential.

Visit Walk It Out on Facebook for more information.