Glasgow volunteer nominated for prestigious award
MORE people in Glasgow have been nominated for a Scottish charity’s 2019 Volunteer Awards than in any other region in Scotland.
Scotland’s national walking charity, Paths for All’s annual Volunteer Awards celebrate individuals and groups who have done exceptional work in bringing their communities together to get walking, encourage active travel and transform their local spaces.
The annual event “Celebrating Scotland’s Walking Champions” showcases the outstanding dedication and achievements of volunteers across the country who help to create a happier, healthier and greener Scotland.
Kit McKeown, 79, is just one of those who has been nominated for one of the prestigious awards.
Kit has been recognised as a local hero, dedicating her time to volunteering at two different walks for groups with additional support needs.
Michelle Bauge, Sports Development Co-ordinator at Glasgow Life, who nominated Kit for Health Walk Volunteer of the Year, said: “Kit has empathy, patience and kindness in abundance. She understands the value of the walks and what they mean to each individual.
“The nature of the groups she works with means that the walks are not always busy – one is a carers group and one is organised through a recovery café.
“Regardless whether it is only one person who turns up or more, Kit will be there every week without fail – rail, hail or snow.
“We nominated Kit as we would love to see her efforts recognised, and for her to know just how special and appreciated she really is by the team and our walkers.”
The Good Move Glasgow programme by Glasgow Life provides over 35 accessible health walks across the city each week. The walks help over 400 new people each year to become more active.
Kit said: “I’m humbled to have been nominated for this award. I’ve completed my training to be a walk leader over ten years ago and I find my time volunteering on the health walks really special as I get to see first-hand how much of a difference a little activity makes to all of our walkers’ lives, physically and mentally.
“The sense of support and community is an important part of our walks and something that keeps people coming back. Everyone is really open and welcoming and you meet so many interesting characters with incredible stories. They can be themselves, relax, chat and keep fit.
“Having been a carer myself, I can understand the concerns the walkers in our carers group have to cope with every day. The recovery group helps me to connect and offer non-judgmental support to people in need of understanding.
“I love being outdoors with nature and sharing this passion with others. I can see that the group walks mean a lot to all of our attendees and that’s why I will always make sure to be there for them, no matter the weather.
“Being a health walk volunteer is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding – I can’t think of a better way to use my spare time.”
The key event in Scotland’s community calendar, which will take place at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday 10th September, will see the country’s outstanding volunteer winners presented with an award, a certificate, £250 towards their project and a £30 gift voucher.
Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said: “The Volunteer Awards are always a very important event in Scotland’s community calendar as they highlight some of our country’s unsung heroes.
“Walking is a fantastic way of improving the nation’s physical, mental and social health, so the work these volunteers are doing really is invaluable to Scotland. They are essential for encouraging more people to get outdoors and enjoy everyday walking.
“Our awards ceremony is a time to celebrate the fantastic work that is going on up and down the country.”
Paths for All works with Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.
The charity donates thousands of pounds worth of grants to worthwhile projects that improve health, promote walking and improve environments for people to be active in.
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