Set up as a partnership between Walk Aberdeen, Healthy Minds and Grampian Disability Sport’s Get Out Get Active project, it offers a fun, free, friendly and short, low-level Health Walk on Saturday mornings.
People can feel more social isolation at the start of the weekend if they are not working or have not made any plans. This makes Walk Leader Trevor Wilkinson’s Saturday morning Health Walk a positive kick start to the weekend. His weekly text reminder also helps people feel a sense of belonging to the walking group.
Since Trevor took part in Paths for All’s Health Walk Leader training and disability inclusion training, he was keen to set up a group specifically for people recovering from poor mental health. He was involved in initiating, planning and setting the group up from the beginning and has been totally committed to the group’s development ever since. He was active in promoting the group, helping to spread the word and giving people encouragement, motivation and confidence to attend.
Trevor fully recognises the role a walking group can play in boosting mental health and bringing people together for companionship. Being out in the fresh air and talking whilst walking side by side is an easy way to enjoy low impact exercise. He has a keen understanding of mental health issues and the additional support required. Trevor adopts a professional approach to personal issues which may arise and accesses additional specialist advice and support from the Healthy Minds team.
Jill Bremner from Aberdeen City Council’s, Healthy Minds Team is supportive of the weekend walk she said:
These walks provide activity during the weekend which can be a really empty time. They also encourage activity to promote positive mental wellbeing and a link to support. The peer led group is a great step to gaining confidence and meeting others.
Trevor’s own confidence has grown too and it’s amazing to see him embark on other training and volunteering. He has recently completed his UKCC level one Badminton Coaching certificate and is planning to develop a beginner’s badminton group at Healthy Minds. He has been involved in supporting the Get Out Get Active tennis group and his presence gave others the confidence to get involved.
Shaun Powell from Get Out Get Active, who entered Trevor in our 2019 Volunteer Awards, describes him as inspirational: “Trevor is a fantastic role model and inspiration to the group. He is a fantastic example of the changes that can be brought about through Health Walks.”