Lanarkshire Association of Mental Health (LAMH) Health Walk in Hamilton receives frequent referrals from the local Community Mental Health Team. Gordon is very passionate about the difference walking makes to those who have been referred. People who would not say a word when they first joined have become much more talkative. Others who were shy and had low confidence have now lightened up considerably. Gordon says he finds it:
Hugely rewarding when after the walk people have a smile on their face, having forgotten about their worries for at least a wee while.
Gordon’s enthusiasm for and commitment to the Health Walks is admirable. He is not local to Hamilton and undertakes a 50-minute bus journey to get there, because he doesn’t drive. He hardly ever misses a walk and is there every week, rain or shine (unless the bus route is blocked by snow). He is also a carer for his sister.
He has an excellent way with people and understands that everybody is different. His friendly and relaxed manner really helps to put newcomers at ease and makes them feel part of the group quickly.
Gordon got involved with the Health Walk project Get Walking Lanarkshire via the Routes to Work service which aims to improve people’s employability through skills training.
On completing his Support Worker training with LAMH they encouraged him to attend Paths for All’s Health Walk Leader training in 2014. He then went on to lead Health Walks in Hamilton for LAMH and in Lanark for Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI). Even though the Health Walk in Lanark is now no longer running, Gordon continues to volunteer for CCI.
Gordon is pictured with some of his walkers when he received his Walking Champion certificate after being nominated in Path for All’s 2018 Volunteer Awards.
Find out more about Health Walks in Lanarkshire on Get Walking Lanarkshire’s website.