National Awards Celebrate The Heroes Of Scottish Walking Charities Invite Entries To The 2023 Scottish Walking Awards

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People, communities and organisations in Dumfries and Galloway are being encouraged to enter the 2023 Scottish Walking Awards as nominations are now open.

The biennial awards will showcase a diverse range of inspiring walking projects – from businesses, councils and land managers to the journalists, NHS staff and volunteers who inspire others to step out.

Organisers encourage nominations from all regions of Scotland and all sections of society, including projects that support people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids. 

Winners of the ten categories, as well as an overall Champion of Champions, will be named during National Walking Month in May 2023. 

The awards are organised by Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland.

Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy said: “The number of people walking is booming in Scotland, which is wonderful news for the health and happiness of our nation. These awards offer a timely opportunity to showcase the communities, companies and projects that are opening the way for more people to benefit from the joy of walking.”

Paths for All chief officer Kevin Lafferty said: “I’m encouraging people to enter the Scottish Walking Awards to recognise the fantastic work happening in Scotland to make walking and wheeling* accessible to everyone. Collectively, we can showcase the transformative role walking plays in reducing health inequalities, lowering carbon emissions, and improving the environment.”

Living Streets Scotland director Stuart Hay said: “In the two years since the first Scottish Walking Awards, we’ve seen so many projects flourishing in communities to make sure everyone has the opportunity to walk and experience safe and enjoyable walking environments. We want to celebrate these projects and the vitally important role of walking essential everyday journeys for the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

“Promoting walking is particularly important in light of stress and hardship in society brought about by the cost of living crisis.  We want to celebrate all the fantastic work that’s going on all over the country, in areas such as social housing, health care, community organisations, work places and local authorities.”

People can enter themselves, or another organisation, business or person who they think have done great work to promote walking or wheeling* in Scotland during the past two years.

Anyone can make a 250-word nomination using a simple online form at pathsforall.org.uk/scottishwalkingawards before the deadline on Sunday 19 March, ahead of winners being selected by an expert judging panel in April.

The overall winner of the first-ever Scottish Walking Awards in 2021 was Fife charity worker Magdalena Augustyn-Lygas. This recognised her work to help migrants boost their health, social life and spoken English through the Sole Sisters group walks project. 

For more information and to submit nominations:  pathsforall.org.uk/scottishwalkingawards

Notes

*We use the term ‘wheeling’ to refer to the use of wheelchairs or other mobility aids – not cycling.

Ramblers Scotlandbeta.ramblers.org.uk/scotland

Ramblers Scotland is recognised by sportscotland as a governing body of sport and we are a membership organisation and a charity with a grassroots network of 54 local groups, running 3,500 group walks a year which are all led and organised by 1,200 volunteers. 

Paths for Allwww.pathsforall.org.uk/

Paths for All is the champion of everyday walking for a happier, healthier Scotland.

Our vision is for a happier, healthier Scotland where physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. 

Living Streets Scotland: https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/

Living Streets Scotland is part of the UK charity for everyday walking. We want to create a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday, local journeys; free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illnesses and social isolation. We want to achieve a better walking environment and to inspire people of all generations to enjoy the benefits the simple act of walking brings.

The Scottish Walking Awards categories are closely aligned to the National Walking Strategy, which was one of the first documents of its kind in the world when launched in 2014. The National Walking Strategy aims to create a Scotland where everyone:

·         benefits from walking as part of their everyday journeys

·         enjoys walking in the outdoors, and

·         where places are well designed to encourage walking.