After my husband of 53 years passed away, I found it incredibly difficult to even think about walking down the street on my own. I was afraid of bumping into one of my friends, becoming inevitably upset and then having to face the reality of walking along, on my way, by myself.
I realised that I had to put myself out there, so I joined a yoga class. Everyone was really friendly but despite being in a room surrounded by lots of folk, yoga is still very much an individual experience with not much opportunity to chat.
A neighbour suggested she come along with her to the Forres Health Walk. Betty attended the Health Walk and as her walking pace begun to increase, so did her confidence. She made many friends from the group including another walker who also had lost her husband. A few months after her initial Health Walk, Betty attended a Volunteer’s Fayre in Forres and signed up to help at the local CLAN cancer centre half a day each week.
Joining the walking group has brought me valuable friendship at a crucial time and made me motivated to get up and out once more. I cannot thank the Walk Leaders and my fellow walkers enough for giving me a purpose again, a reason to keep going and try new things. They have been instrumental in building my confidence in both my walking ability and interacting with people I previously did not know but now consider as friends.
At first I was slow and would stop a lot. But the Walk Leaders were always so supportive and patient. It was their reassurance that kept me going.
The Walk Moray project delivers nine Health Walks across Moray every week and is managed by NHS Grampian. There are walks in Forres, Elgin, New Elgin, Lossiemouth and Rothes.