A National Links Worker Programme Walking Group member tells of the benefits of participating
We started as a small group within our local community (Govan). People came from all walks of life.
The purpose of the walking group was to encourage a little exercise into our lives with the hope it would then motivate us to have a little walk in our daily routines.
Everyone walked at their own pace and the walks were always flexible and were adapted if needed. Everybody within the community was welcome to join no matter your age or fitness levels. This was advertised in the Govan community with members of the group helping to advertise within the area. The walking group not only provided a free way of exercise but also encouraged a sense of community and people built friendships along the way.
The walking group boosted peoples self-esteem and reduced isolation many of us had experienced before the group had started. This also encouraged us to talk about health issues as a group whether it was regarding physical disabilities or mental health issues.
After our walking session we often had tea and discussed topics within our area such as benefits and our rights. What was available in our community and how to access it? Such as community resources in the area.
The group went on many days out to places such as the kelpies and the shipyard museum and many more. Providing us with opportunities and experiences some of us had not explored before.
After a year the group had naturally come to an end with the group going and doing their own thing whether it be starting college or just moving on to the next steps in their lives.
The walking group certainly helped all of us individually within our personal lives but also as a group making friendships along the way.
We had a meal on the last day of the walk and discussed what we had achieved from the group and believe some of us have made lifelong friends.
Our walking leader not only supported us individually but respected our feelings as a group and played a massive role in the group and we all feel as a group she was fantastic.
We would also highly recommend anybody to join their local group, it has been a life changing experience.