Publish date: 22 September 2022

As part of the Trust’s training programme for new health visitors, students are challenged to build community connections and identify areas of need for the benefit of local families, particularly from a health and wellbeing perspective. Amelia Storer, a student health visitor between January 2021 and January 2022 set about working with a local school, Greenside Primary School, Tameside Council and Friends of Sunny Bank Vale community group to create the Duck Trail around Sunny Bank Vale. 

Penelope Hampshire, Health Visitor, Practice Educator and Development Lead for the Trust’s Community Services explains how the idea went from original concept to reality in just over 12 months:  

“Amelia joined the Trust in January 2021 and, at that time, we were in the middle of the pandemic and a lot of our focus was on how we can create safe environments to benefit the health and wellbeing of local families. Amelia’s response to that, in partnership with Greenside Primary School and Tameside Council and Friends of Sunny Bank Vale was the creation on a walking route that would benefit health, wellbeing and education. An underutilised walking route around Sunny Bank Vale in Droylsden was identified as a prime location to redevelop – and the results were fantastic.”  

The Duck Trail around Sunny Bank Vale has quickly become a favourite with local families of Droylsden, as the warm and dry weather has encouraged young families to get out and get active. Along the trail walkers will find 17 wooden guideposts with hand drawn pictures of ducks displayed by local children. Each picture has the name of the young artist and a QR code which can be scanned with a mobile phone, where walkers can learn more about the children behind the artwork, the local landscape and even the flora and trees located close to the posts.   

Amelia completed her placement in January 2022, with the project near completion, she handed over the reigns to Tanya Rothwell, also a student health visitor, who successfully saw the project through to completion with colleagues from across Tameside.  

Tanya explains: “It has been a pleasure to see this project come to life over the last two years. A relatively underutilised walking route has been transformed into a location families really want to visit. It’s even more beneficial now with the squeeze on the cost of living, local families are looking for things to do in our local community that cost little or no money and the Duck Trail around Sunny Bank Vale provides just that solution.  

“It has also been great to work with our local partners and school to jointly deliver something that benefits so many people. I hope that this route is used and continually improved in the years to come.”