Popular walking group strolls off with top award

An East Renfrewshire walking group which has mushroomed in size over the past 20 years has picked up one of our awards.

Walkers from the group are pictured with Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick and our event host Fiona Stalker

The Rouken Glen Walkers began 20 years ago with just one volunteer leading 12 walkers.

Today, there are 200 people registered as walkers with around 120 people turning out regularly to take part. They are looked after by 14 trained volunteer Walk Leaders who manage three walks every Wednesday around the park.

And on Tuesday, the group was recognised as Health Walk Group of the Year at our annual Volunteer Awards at the Scottish Parliament.

Ken Dougan, who has been a Walk Leader with the group since it began said

It’s a very social club and through word of mouth it has continued to grow over the years.
Someone tells a friend, and they bring their friends and new social groups start to form.
I was first approached about joining the group when I was at a fitness class after taking early retirement. At that time, it was just me and nine ladies.
Because it has mushroomed in size over the years, the walks are now split into three so we can also cater for different abilities.
It’s marvellous to have been involved with the Rouken Glen Walkers; I’ve loved every moment.
It’s very nice to win the award, and I’m sure all the walkers will be delighted when they hear about it.

The Rouken Glen Walkers is supported by Health Walk project Walk ER which receives support from Paths for All and is managed by East Renfrewshire Council.

Ken added: “Walking groups on the whole have really taken off. Everywhere I go, I talk to people about walking, and tell those looking for a walking group to contact their local council or Paths for All.”

To find out more about local walks, click here.