Jenni from Inverclyde has won our national award for her commitment and dedication to improving Inverclyde’s walking network.
After volunteering for six months as a Walk Leader with Inverclyde Bothy - which is managed by Cycling UK - Jenni’s passion for walking and the outdoors encouraged her to make a career change. In 2019, Jenni secured the role as Health Walk Coordinator with the group.
The 46-year-old has established six weekly ‘Bothy’ walks in the Inverclyde region and has also supported several local organisations to set up their own Health Walks. She is the main driving force working to expand the Bothy Volunteer network which has grown to 18 volunteers, while supporting 460 individuals to make positive lifestyle choices and changes.
Most recently, Jenni has worked with the Inverclyde Carers Centre to train staff as Walk Leaders, allowing them to establish a new weekly Health Walk specifically for other carers. Through these walks, carers in the area have been provided with the opportunity to become more physically active and a chance to improve their wellbeing through coming together and socialising.
Walking has always been something I’ve really enjoyed. It first became a hobby when I was at Edinburgh University when I would go for long walks around the city with flatmates to de-stress and around the same time, I started doing some hill walks with my dad – now I walk with my kids to encourage them to spend more time outdoors.
“I feel very lucky to have a job doing something I love. It’s the perfect mix of supporting others to be active while working with a fantastic team of volunteers.
I genuinely believe that walking in a supportive group really does have the power to significantly impact people’s day to day lives and this group helps make that happen.
“Hearing feedback from people about how much it has helped to be part of a supportive walking group really is what motivates me to continue to grow our offerings.
“The walking groups help you connect with people that you may not usually link up with. Everyone who joins us brings something different to the group.”
The Inverclyde mum was commended at the awards ceremony where she was 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.