Inverness festival celebrates active travel with award win

Week-long walking and wheeling event inspires Highlanders

Partnerships for Wellbeing been recognised for its commitment in getting the community moving with a week-long festival of events.

The project won our Active Travel Group of the Year at the Volunteer Awards 2023.

The festival, which was held in May 2023, was the first of its kind in the capital of the Highlands and featured 22 events over a week-long celebration of walking and wheeling.

Set out to promote activities available in Inverness and surrounding areas, 30 local organisations collaborated to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in active travel.

Jayne Preece, Health Walks and Events Manager at Partnerships for Wellbeing, and festival co-ordinator said: “It’s brilliant that the work and dedication of our volunteers has been recognised.

“Organising and facilitating the festival has been extremely rewarding. The fact that so many fantastic organisations came together just shows how passionate we are about getting more people active and outside.

Walking and wheeling have so many benefits for your physical and mental health, it’s been incredible to see that since the festival we’ve seen a huge boost to the numbers joining our weekly Health Walks, and walking and wheeling activities across Inverness.

“This award from Paths for All is an incredible achievement, we’re so proud of the work we’re doing, and being recognised in this way is a huge boost for our work. We can’t wait for next year’s festival.”

The festival received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, and Paths for All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places fund. Partnerships for Wellbeing has been facilitating weekly Health Walk groups since 2004, with 14 groups from Tain to Nairn.

The Inverness Festival of Walking and Wheeling was commended at Paths for All’s 14th annual awards ceremony at the Scottish Parliament on 27 September.

View our full list of winners from the 2023 Volunteer Awards here.