Inspirational volunteers have won awards for helping people stay fit and happy by joining local health walks.
There are more than 60 regular, volunteer-led health walks around Lincolnshire. They come under the national Walking for Health scheme ran by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support.
During a recent celebration event at Market Rasen Racecourse for 120 attendees, 13 of the hard-working volunteers behind the health walks were recognised with awards.
Sue Crew, a Walk Leader in Louth, was one of 11 people presented with a Special Recognition Award by Lincolnshire Co-op Board Member Stuart Parker.
Lincolnshire Co-op began supporting health walks in Lincoln, South Kesteven and East Lindsey in April and is working alongside existing co-ordinators in South Holland, North Kesteven and West Lindsey, and community group Boston Health Walks.
The group walks boost people’s physical and mental health by helping them meet others, enjoy their local area and feel fitter. The walks last between 30 and 90 minutes and run once a week.
It’s the walk leaders, helpers and other volunteers whose time and hard work make them possible, and Sue (pictured below) has been involved in the health walks since 2013 after retiring from work as a mental health nurse.
“We’ve got three volunteers in Louth, one of them does a shorter walk and two of us do a longer walk,” she said.
“I love it. I think it’s a really good way of relieving stress and making you healthier.”
Lincolnshire Co-op Community and Health Walks Co-ordinator Carly Pillay said: “It’s important to say thank you because the determination and dedication of the volunteers, come rain or shine, means the health walks can go ahead.
“Each of the winners were put forward by other volunteers and the nominations just blew us away. The winners all go the extra mile, whether that’s supporting others on the walks, encouraging people to join up or doing vital work to keep them going.
“Helping people stay healthy is important to us and we’re proud to work with all the volunteers.”
To find a walk near you and more information, visit www.lincolnshire.coop/healthwalks
Ann Bradshaw, Walk Leader in West Lindsey Ann’s been leading walks since 2008 for Gainsborough and has promoted the scheme at different health organisations. She’s even won recognition at the Lincolnshire Sports Awards for her work.
Ann Ransome, Walk Leader in Lincoln Ann encourages people to join and is never without a leaflet. She can train others as Walk Leaders and is involved in a Dementia walk in Lincoln and another in Nettleham.
Brian Holman, Walk Leader in North Kesteven Brian is a natural when it comes to managing and leading walks, but will happily step into any volunteering roles too. He’s full of knowledge and a very caring Walk Leader.
Ian Kendrick, Walk Leader in North Kesteven Ian leads three regular walks with his trusty canine pal Rosie and likes to make people smile. He’s passionate about the Dementia walks - since helping set them up in 2015 he’s attended every one.
Judith Blow, Walk Leader in West Lindsey Judith helped set up the Walk Well group. She’s walked weekly since 2008 with them and the Gainsborough health walks. She’s caring, compassionate and a great baker!
Karen Bridges, Walk Leader in Boston Receiving the most nominations; Karen is an extremely valued member of the Boston health walks.
Paul Frodsham, Walk Leader in Lincoln Since becoming a walk leader in 2010, Paul has led several regular walks in Lincoln and North Kesteven. He’s a true people person and looks out for slower walkers or those with health issues.
Rosemary Saunders, Walk Leader in Boston Since Boston formed its constituted walking group, Rosemary has become the secretary. On top of her duties, Rosemary also inputs data onto the Walking for Health database.
Sue Crew, Walk Leader in East Lindsey Sue began with supporting the existing health walks and now leads, risk assesses and plans two walks a week in Louth. Her support for other volunteers and walks doesn’t go unnoticed.
Sue Ellison, Walk Leader in South Kesteven Sue is a key member of three different health walks groups in Ancaster and Grantham (there are two separate groups in Grantham) and leads two each Wednesday. She also asked local organisations for help with the cost of a meeting space.
Ernie and Carol Wilkinson, Walk Leaders in the East Lindsey Heart Support Group
As well leading the walks, Ernie and Carol take on responsibilities with the programme including organising schedules and ensuring the website and walk information is up to date. Without their continued support, the group would not be the success it is today.