This post has been written by Right Here volunteer Emily about her experience during our Walk and Talk counselling activity (for ages 18-25).

Two weeks ago I volunteered on the Right Here Walk and Talk activity in Stanmer Park. It’s a free walking activity with a therapy dog designed for a small group of young people who experience social anxiety and isolation, or feel challenged by being in groups or meeting new people.

I’ve suffered from anxiety, including social anxiety, for a long time. The thought of large groups, or meeting new people, terrifies me – often I worry so much about what I am going to say and how I am going to act that I end up avoiding social situations altogether, or become quiet and withdrawn if I do attend.  But on the other hand, I absolutely love people, and experience loneliness and boredom if I spend too much time by myself. So I’m always looking for ways I can meet and spend time with people in a supportive and understanding environment, and ways that I can help provide that support to others who have similar experiences. That’s why, when I heard about the Walk and Talk activity, I was so excited and eager to join.

On the day of the walk, I was nervous to begin with about meeting new people, but after the introductions and playing some games, I felt much more at ease and started to really enjoy myself. It was lovely to meet and get to know other young people, and we had some interesting conversations – from wood-carving, to cycling, TV shows, and makeup!

It was really great to have Geoffrey the pug with us, as it meant we could always talk about him and interact with him, and I felt that put less pressure on us. It was also nice to be outside and active; often in social gatherings that are indoors and where everyone is sat down, I can feel enclosed in that space, and almost trapped – but walking in the lovely surroundings of Stanmer Park felt a lot more freeing. We got to explore parts of Stanmer Park, like the Earthship, that I never even knew existed, despite having living close-by for 4 years!

Overall, I had a lovely time meeting new people and felt the activity helped boost my confidence. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed and supportive environment where you can meet new people. The activity also includes 1-to-1 meetings with a counsellor before and after the walk to discuss any concerns and reflect on personal experiences.

The next Walk and Talk activities are on the ………. , if you’d like to book a place or ask any questions, please text or email your name, date of birth and contact number to 07850500420 or email

You can find more information about Walk and Talk, and Right Here’s other free activities for young people, here

Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes

Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes has blogged 50 posts

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