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Walk and Talk: Concrete Canvas Trail

Join us for a charity walk bringing together art, culture, health, and wellbeing on Thursday 1 February in Chelmsford city centre. The Concrete Canvas Walk is a gentle 5km route, which is designed to be accessible for all. 

Friendly walk leaders, city council health champions, and mental health first aiders will guide walkers through the Concrete Canvas Trail. We hope that the city’s street art will inspire conversation between walkers. 

Time to Talk Day 

1 February is Time to Talk Day, aka, the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. It’s a day for friends, families, and communities to come together to talk, listen and change lives.  

The Concrete Canvas Walk aims to get you walking, to benefit your body; and talking, to benefit your mind. 

Mental health first aiders will be on hand to listen to anyone who would like to chat. There is no pressure to share personal information though – if you’d rather talk about the route or the artwork, that’s fine too! 

Time To Talk Day 2024

Enjoy world-class street art along the route 

Chelmsford For You’s street art festival, Concrete Canvas, saw local, national and international artists create beautiful murals on blank canvases across the city. During the week-long festival in May 2023, bollards, CCTV bases, OpenReach cabinets, and building walls across the city were transformed into works of art. They all remain, to be enjoyed by Chelmsford’s residents and visitors. 

Benefitting YMCA Essex 

The walk is free to join but, from those who can, a suggested donation of £5 to YMCA Essex will be gratefully received.  

YMCA Essex, the Mayor of Chelmsford’s chosen charity for 202324, works with children, young people and their families. The mayor, Councillor Linda Mascot, says the charity perfectly reflects the theme for the mayoral year, ‘Bright Futures’: 

“The YMCA is a very worthy charity and close to my heart. YMCA Essex does fantastic work in Chelmsford and across the county. Their dedication to supporting children, young people, and families is inspiring and they have helped so many children grow, develop, and achieve their ambitions.

“Our ‘Bright Futures’ focus is all about supporting young people to become confident, successful and happy adults. Being able to talk about their problems and concerns is an important part of that and events like Time to Talk Day do a great job of highlighting the benefits of sharing.”

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Linda Mascot

When and where 

To join the Concrete Canvas Walk, please register online 

Walkers will meet at Marconi Plaza from 12pm on Thursday 1 February. There will be a briefing at 12.20pm and the walk will begin promptly at 12.30pm, so please arrive in plenty of time! Find all the details (including a map of the route) here. 

The Chelmsford Theatre Café will be open for refreshments before and after the walk. 

Please note, if you do wish to make a donation to YMCA Essex, this should be paid on arrival and we ask that you bring the correct money. 

Map Of Concrete Canvas Trail Route

Can’t make it? You can still enjoy the trail 

If you’re not free on Thursday, don’t let that stop you enjoying the Concrete Canvas Art Trail! You can download a map here and head out anytime.  

Street art not your thing? There are alternative walking maps available at chelmsford.gov.uk/explore. 

And if following a map fills you with dread, don’t let that stop you getting active – there are guided walks available all year round! Take a look at Heart and Sole’s timetable. 

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Molly Smith
Molly Smith

Molly writes stories about public health, community safety, leisure, community sport, parking and Chelmsford Market.