Health Walk group marks 20 years of community work with national success

Chatelherault Health Walk Leaders have been recognised for their commitment and dedication to improving the health of their local community and going the extra mile.

The Chatelherault Health Walk Leaders are the winners of the Ian Findlay Outstanding Achievement Award at our 2022 Volunteer Awards. 

The group was first established in 2002 and some of the original volunteers still lead the local weekly walk for over 30 people. In October, the group will celebrate its 20th anniversary. 

Paula Hubens, Get Walking Lanarkshire Project Co-ordinator, said:

The seven-strong group of volunteers are incredibly enthusiastic and committed to the Health Walks. We are so grateful to them.

The Walk Leaders are very flexible and accommodate people of all fitness levels and abilities ensuring that everyone can be included and encouraged to participate in physical activity and socialising.

During the pandemic the group kept in touch by phone and when restrictions eased Walk Leaders were keen to start again as soon as possible, being very aware that a lot of their walkers had been deprived of face-to-face social contact for many months.

The Walk Leaders work very well together and complement each other perfectly. Each of them bringing something different to the group. It is a dream team.

The Ian Findlay Outstanding Volunteer Award was created in honour of our long-standing Chief Officer Ian Findlay who passed away suddenly in March 2021. A committed volunteer himself he was also an advocate for volunteers to be recognised, thanked and celebrated.

Muriel Jaap, Walk Leader at Chatelherault, said:

This award comes at a really special time as the group is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

There are seven Walk Leaders who plan the routes to suit all fitness levels and abilities and the volunteers take turns leading the walks. It is the group’s aim to make the walks interesting and enjoyable for the 25 to 30 people who regularly attend.

A strong community bond has been created through walking, even if it is just for an hour each week it really gives people a sense of belonging.

The South Lanarkshire group was among 11 other winners, all commended at our 13th annual awards ceremony which highlights the outstanding work carried out by volunteers across the country. The ceremony has now returned to an in-person event after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to support local authorities and communities to develop inclusive environments for people to be active; whether walking, cycling or wheeling.

Kevin Lafferty, our Chief Executive Officer, said:

Volunteers from the Chatelherault Health Walk group represent exactly why we host the award ceremony every year.

Giving your time and energy to a cause without financial reward – may seem like a big ask but our volunteers continually go above and beyond in local communities across Scotland and never fail to make it look effortless. Even though we all know an immense amount of work goes on behind the scenes.

The work carried out by volunteers is directly improving the nation’s physical, mental and social health, reducing social isolation and loneliness and helping people make more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices.

This year we returned to an in-person event at Holyrood. It has been brilliant socialising with our amazing volunteers and to hear first-hand about the invaluable contributions they have been making.

Our volunteers’ stories are always inspiring – and this year seems that little more exceptional knowing how many challenges have been faced along the way. Thank you to everyone for their efforts and ongoing dedication.

To find out more which Health Walks you can join in South Lanarkshire, visit:

The Chatelherault Health Walk group is among 11 winners at Paths for All's 13th annual Volunteers Awards. You can find out about the rest of the people who have gone the extra mile to keep there communities active in our Volunteer Awards winner gallery.