Over 30 volunteer walk leaders from the Dumfries & Galloway Walking Project gathered for their 2nd annual celebration on Thursday at Easterbrook Hall.
The organisers, Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Active Communities team, recognised the efforts of the volunteers by presenting them all with a new Spring/Autumn body warmer to ensure they are warm on their walks.
Over the past 2 years the walking project has been funded by Paths for All. This funding, which is about to come to an end, has secured dedicated officer time which has enabled support for existing walks and training additional walk leaders. This development has increased the number of walks across the region from 4 to 18 weekly walks. Paths for All Development Officer for Dumfries & Galloway, Paulina Zawiska attended the event and was extremely impressed by the enthusiasm of the walk leaders, organisers and the development of the project so far.
The funding has recently supported the delivery of a walk leader training course and 2 x strength and balance training courses. D&G Walking Project will be looking to secure more Paths for All funding in 2023/24 to further develop our ‘Stroll in the Park’ walks and focus more on strength and balance by means of tacking deconditioning, increasing walking confidence, and enabling people with long term health conditions to feel supported on gentle walks in their local areas.
The D&G Walking Project are always looking for new walk leader volunteers. Anyone interested in becoming a walk leader with D&G Walking Project can email [email protected]
A list of all D&G Walking Project walks can be found on www.dgdoingmore.co.uk/active-communities
Chair of Communities Committee, Councillor Ian Blake said “It was great to meet our walk leader volunteers and acknowledge their efforts first hand. They are delivering a range of fantastic walks from Langholm to Stranraer. I am hopeful that the project will receive more funding to sustain the good work already achieved by the D&G Walking Project. Initiatives like this will help people live healthier and more independent lives as well as enhancing much needed social interaction.”
Vice Chair, Councillor Jackie McCamon said “It was a great opportunity to recognise the wonderful work and meet many of the walk leader volunteers that deliver varied led walks across our region which form part of the wider Active Communities programme. I would be keen to see additional funding from Paths for All to expand the D&G Walking Project. I would like to thank the volunteer walk leaders for their time and efforts in supporting the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.”