Visually impaired volunteer wins award for their community work

Shona Black has been honoured as the winner of Health Walk Volunteer of the Year at our Volunteer Awards 2022.

Shona from East Lothian has been recognised for her efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the blind and partially-sighted community by organising regular Health Walks.

The 57-year-old has been instrumental in creating Health Walks in the area for visually impaired individuals - with Shona herself being registered blind using both a cane and guide dog – and also wheelchair users and individuals with learning difficulties.  

Health Walks are designed to reduce social isolation while improving fitness, supporting mental health and encouraging socialisation – with walks taking place fortnightly with plans to expand to weekly walks. 

Shona started the group after working with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) to identify that many vulnerable members of the community were not getting adequate levels of exercise.  

She said:

“Many people who suffer from sight loss can feel really isolated which is what inspired me to initially start the group. Being able to come together and walk is a fantastic way for everyone to socialise, make new friends and get outside into the fresh air.

“Through these group walks, people feel supported and going out for a walk doesn’t feel as daunting.

“It’s lovely to be recognised for something which I have so much joy in doing.” 

Shona was commended at the awards ceremony which returned to an in-person event after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.