A women's walking and wellness group is being put in the spotlight this Loneliness Awareness Week.

Danielle Ward and Siobhan Crowther launched the group in January as a walk and talk session on the Sunday morning for women in Bromsgrove.

The annual week will take place from Monday 10 to Sunday, June 16.

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It aims to reduce the stigma of loneliness and promotes open conversations on the matter.

Ms Ward and Ms Crowther decided to start the sessions after realising the benefits they personally got from each other’s company.

Ms Ward said: "Siobhan and I started walking together on a Sunday morning, come rain or shine, and realised how good it was for us, enjoying each other’s company and discussing our problems.

“We had women turn up and it was lovely, lots of different women of different ages and different backgrounds.

"It’s grown so quickly, and from the feedback we are getting, it just shows that this is really needed.”

Aside from walking, the group also practices meditation and other wellbeing exercises.

For those unable to join the walks, support is also offered on social media with online meditations and journaling exercises.

The group, backed by the Public Health team at Worcestershire County Council, recently trained 20 women in Mental Health First Aid to better handle mental health issues.

On Sunday, August 25, they'll be having a community picnic at Stoke Heath Park, with tickets on sale from Monday, July 1.

Lisa McNally, director of public health in Worcestershire, said: "We are delighted to support Gather and Grow.

"In just six months, they have grown from a seed of an idea into a supportive, welcoming group who don’t just look out for each other informally, they have already trained people in Mental Health First Aid.

"I can’t wait to see what they will do in the next six months."