AN INSPIRING volunteer is helping to put the Western Isles on the walking map as she is shortlisted for a Scottish walking charity’s 2019 Volunteer Awards.
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.
Karen Peteranna, from Stornoway, is just one of the nominees this year vying for the title of Health Walk Volunteer Manager.
Colin said: “Karen has totally transformed the Paths for All project in the last year. She is so committed and enthusiastic about the work that it then motivates colleagues, volunteers and participants to value walking and the opportunities it provides to improve health and make friends.
“She has taken every opportunity to develop herself through training which she then cascades throughout the Western Isles.
“Karen has delivered training courses in three different islands. She has helped volunteers to establish seven new walks and created networking events to support and motivate them. Her commitment and enthusiasm for the project is testament to the pool of walk leaders.”
Karen, 36, said: “I’m honoured to be considered for Paths for All’s Volunteer Awards. I love what I do and I get so much satisfaction out of seeing people getting out and enjoying the fresh air.
“Since starting a few years ago, I’ve trained around 57 volunteers. To be able to get people to come together and share their passion for walking is something special.
“Although Walk on Hebrides has grown considerably, we have plenty in the pipeline for the next year, including training new volunteers, establishing new walking routes and introducing strength and balance exercises.
“It’s fantastic to be acknowledged by Paths for All and to be able to shine a light on the walking community in the Western Isles.”
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 amazing volunteer winners presented with an award, a certificate, £250 towards their project and a £30 gift voucher.
Ian Findlay, 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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