Walking group has opened up Maureen's world

According to Maureen Ingram, joining a walking group has “opened up another world”.

Maureen on a weekly walk

Maureen, who lives in Spean Bridge, near Fort William, walks with the Braes Walking Group, part of the Step It Up Highland project, after learning about the activity from friends.

As someone who was recently widowed, Maureen knew she had to get out more and fight the temptation to stay home and put her feet up too often.

Maureen said: “My husband and I kept ourselves to ourselves, so after he died I wasn’t really going out too much.

“Friends told me about the walking group. It was ideal for me because the walks were not too long and you could go at your own pace.

“The walk leaders are also very encouraging. I am still the kind of person who enjoys sitting at home with a book and my feet up, but the walking group makes me walk. I look forward to it. Now I leave the car at home when I can, and I’ll walk to the shop and back.

“The walk leaders take really good care of us. They are patient and kind and there’s always a leader at the front and a leader at the back. Afterwards, we have tea and scones and have a good natter. There’s always a really good atmosphere.”

Maureen now walks regularly with the group and has made new and solid friendships.

She added: “The walking group has opened up my world. When you sit in all the time, you don’t think outward. I wouldn’t go out on a Monday if I wasn’t going to the walking group.

“We have walked in all weathers; we all have our waterproofs. Let’s face it, if you didn’t go out because of the weather, you’d never go anywhere.”