Volunteers honoured for stepping up

Dedicated volunteers have won awards for going above and beyond encouraging people to stay fit and healthy by joining local health walks.

There are more than 60 regular volunteer-run health walks across Lincolnshire’s seven districts, that all come under the national Ramblers Walking for Health scheme.

During a recent celebration event at Market Rasen Racecourse, nine of the hard-working volunteers who help lead health walks were recognised with awards.

Ann Ransome from North Greetwell in Lincoln is a walk leader in Nettleham. She was presented with a special award which recognises her support for local dementia groups.

Lincolnshire Co-op supports health walks in Lincoln, South Kesteven and East Lindsey and helps bring together a network of walks across the whole county alongside other agencies such as Greenwich Leisure and One Life.

It’s the walk leaders, helpers and volunteers whose time and hard work make them possible. And Ann has been pivotal in supporting her group and has even worked with Buddies Dementia Café in Nettleham to support those with the condition.

These walks are enjoyed by those living with dementia and their carers alike. Ann not only attends meetings but has grown to know guests and has gained their trust, essential when dealing with people with dementia. She has thrown herself into proceedings with energy and warmth.

“It’s a pleasure to win and I’ve really enjoyed being part of a brilliant group. It’s the people that make the walks and they’re absolutely fantastic. Everybody has a story to tell and there’s lots of chatting and a friendly atmosphere.” she said.

Walk leaders Nev and Chris Padley from Skendleby near Spilsby organise the East Lindsey Heart Support Group and were honoured with a special health award.

They joined the group 14 years ago and became walk leaders two years later in 2006 and have led walks ever since. They support people with health conditions and go the extra mile by arranging lunches at Batemans Brewery after their Wainfleet walk near Skegness, asking the tea rooms at Burgh Le Marsh to open especially for the walkers, and visiting a farmer to make sure his cows are not in a field when the group are walking.

They also organised the bi-annual sponsored walk, not only leading but arranging for the group to have lunch at their daughter’s house.

“It’s a total shock to win and it’s lovely that people have voted for us. We love walking and it gets people out giving them confidence to make friends and meet new people.” Nev said. 

Health walks can benefit people in lots of ways. As well as improving people’s physical wellbeing, walkers can meet others and enjoy their local area enhancing their mental health.

Walk lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and takes place on a regular basis. Groups cater for different abilities so everyone can enjoy walks at their own pace.

Lincolnshire Co-op Community and Health Walks Co-ordinator Karen Doherty said: “We’re immensely proud of all volunteer walk leaders and want to say thank you for their dedication and enthusiasm in leading groups and supporting others.

“Winners were put forward by fellow volunteer walk leaders and walkers and we were really impressed with some of the nominations that came in. Amongst many attributes, they were praised for their commitment, friendliness, encouragement and endless kindness.”

To find a walk near you and more information, visit www.lincolnshire.coop/healthwalks

The full role of honour is:

Special Recognition Award winners

Gordon Grant, Walk Leader in South Kesteven

Jenny Turner, Walk Leader in East Lindsey

David Clay, Walk Leader in West Lindsey

Mick Jackson, Walk Leader in Boston

Karen Woods, Walk Leader in North Kesteven

Dave Scott, Walk Leader in Lincoln


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