Mindfulness walks launched as part of Ripon canal basin regeneration

Gail Donnan.
Gail Donnan.

A Ripon business owner is launching the city’s very first Street Wisdom mindfulness walks as part of an ongoing drive to regenerate the canal basin.

Passionate about helping the community and embedding mindfulness as an everyday part of our lives, Gail Donnan, the owner of The Mindfulspace Wellbeing Company, based along the stretch, will lead the free walks to show how simply taking the time to enjoy and take in Ripon’s natural environment can help people find answers to the questions preying on their minds.

The Street Wisdom walks are a global movement, and have reached as far as China. Ripon is the latest city to get on board, and Gail hopes the walks will attract new visitors and locals who were unaware of the canal basin and what it has to offer the community.

The first walk will be held on October 28, 10am to 1pm, starting at Gail’s mindfulness studios at the basin.

Gail said: “I hope that it will bring more awareness to the canal basin - a lady who has been living in Ripon for 15 years told me recently that she didn’t know the canal basin was here.

“I am excited about reaching new people, including people from outside the area, and the chance to share mindfulness and learning.

“This could be for people who are maybe too embarrassed to come to a meditation or mindfulness session otherwise, who might not have thought about it before. People can put meditation and mindfulness into a weird box, seeing it as tree-hugging people, but this is about embedding it into normal everyday routines.

“I was reading an article about how people have so many distractions and create distractions, but this will be a positive way of finding answers.

“Taking time out is bottom of most of our to do lists, but this seems to take care of inner business in an empowering way.”

Businesses, including The Mindfulspace Wellbeing Company, have also come together to organise a Christmas market to continue the momentum and interest going about enhancing the canal basin’s offer for tourists and city residents.

Spearheaded by the owner of the Azuri beauty salon, Georgia Burns, the market on December 3, 3pm to 7pm, aims to draw in visitors and locals who might not ordinarily venture outside of the Market Square.

Only weeks ago, Welcome to Yorkshire’s North Yorkshire area director David Shields told the ‘Gazette that the canal area is a “hidden gem” for Ripon, that deserves to be promoted more to increase footfall and reach its full potential. The walks and Christmas market aim to do just that.