Ayrshire Sportsability has been operating for 20 years and started the RNIB Scotland walking group in April 2021. Since then the 10 group members meet every Tuesday alongside two guide dogs. Starting in East Ayrshire, the initiative has since begun to spread around the country.
As a result of its outstanding work Ayrshire Sportsability and RNIB Scotland walking group won our Volunteer Diversity Award in our 2021 Volunteer Awards.
Dianne Campbell, who is involved in running promotions and events for Ayrshire Sportsability, said:
Lockdown restrictions meant that a lot of activities for people with disabilities weren’t fully functioning for over a year.
There is a big social element as well as for fitness. The walking group means that people can come together safely and catch up while they get fresh air.
It’s really become a community that allowed people the chance to chat and talk about what is going on with them and if they have any problems or struggles.
Paths for All also have a Walk Leader training programme, suitable for all, meaning that people with visual impairments can take part in Walk Leader courses, and go on to lead their own walks with support from RNIB Scotland.
Some of our visually impaired members took part in the course; meaning they can lead the walking group, and the walks have been adapted so they can do it safely. Paths for All were brilliant when they were doing the course and the participants really enjoyed it.
Watch the group's video below.
Find out more about the Ayrshire Sportsability/RNIB walk on their Facebook page.
The Sportsability/RNIB walking group was among 11 winners at Paths for All's 12th annual Volunteers Awards. You can find out about the rest of the winners here.