Aberdeenshire volunteer group stride to national success

Positive Steps Kemnay has been recognised as the winners of the Health Walk Group of the Year at our Volunteer Awards 2022.

A group of volunteers in Aberdeenshire has been recognised for its contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of the local community. 

Positive Steps Kemnay, an 11-strong group of volunteer Walk Leaders, organise four walks every week for people of all ages and abilities. These walks take place around the attractive streets and woodlands of Kemnay and make use of a range of 15 risk assessed routes. Walks are designed to encourage the community to come together to socialise and enjoy a little exercise.

Joint Co-ordinators Hilda Hart and Rob Mackay said:

“Positive Steps Kemnay has gone from strength to strength since our start in 2014 creating a strong community support network through walking.

“The group gained its Cancer and Dementia Friendly accreditation from Paths for All increasing the accessibility of Health Walks further. 

“The award is a brilliant recognition of all of the hard work demonstrated by our volunteers. We’re extremely lucky to have such a dedicated and enthusiastic bunch of both volunteers and walkers who come out each week.”

The Health Walks have been designed to cover specific needs of those in the area. For example, there is a Buggy Walk which has developed from a few members into a fully-fledged 24-strong network – with some parents going on to become trained Walk Leaders and now help with taking the groups.

Additionally, volunteers contribute to active travel developments in the area while helping out with the upkeep of local path networks. 

Rob Mackay said:

“The youngest Health Walk attendee we’ve had was just one week old and the oldest was 97 – which is just fantastic and shows how many generations can benefit from this initiative. 

“Being part of Positive Steps Kemnay allows people from across the community to share their experiences of outdoor activity, combined with mental, physical and social benefits and connecting with nature.”

The Aberdeenshire group was commended at our annual Volunteer Awards ceremony at the Scottish Parliament on 28 September.

You can find out about the rest of the people who have gone the extra mile to encourage their communities to get more active in our Volunteer Awards winner gallery.