Volunteers form strong community bond through walking

Inverclyde Bothy Health Walk volunteers are our Health Walk Group of the Year 2021 for their commitment to supporting their community recover from the pandemic.

Inverclyde Bothy Health Walk Group

The group organises seven walks every week for people of all ages and abilities, bringing the community together to socialise while staying active.  

Throughout lockdown the walking group looked out for each other and kept motivated with regular zoom meetings to stay connected and lift spirits.  

Health Walk coordinator with Inverclyde Bothy (managed by Cycling UK), Jenni Murray, said:

This award is a great recognition for our brilliant team of dedicated volunteers and walkers who come together every week. 

We’ve formed such a strong community bond through walking, even if it is just for an hour each week it really gives people a sense of belonging. 

The pandemic made a lot of people feel isolated and the group become a key support network. Everyone in the group was encouraged to get outside and walk safely when restrictions allowed to improve health and wellbeing. 

Now we are allowed to walk together again, the group is more committed than ever before which is just amazing! 

We venture out in all weathers and we’ve really gone from strength to strength since the pandemic with everyone valuing the time spent together out in the community.

The group aims to facilitate and support a broad range of diverse walkers, with the numbers of walkers growing, many of who are referred to the group via the Scottish Association of Mental Health, Local Community Connectors and Link workers. 

Jenni added:

Everyone comes to the group for their own reasons, but whatever the reason it is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and have a chat. People just click together and we’ve had a lot of great friendships developed.

After a difficult year for many it is really special to have our group recognised at the award ceremony and I’m sure there will be many celebrations to come.

Watch the group's video below.

Find out more about Inverclyde Bothy's Health Walk.

Inverclyde Bothy Health Walk group was among 11 winners at Paths for All's 12th annual Volunteers Awards. You can find out about the rest of the winners here.