The group organises 15 walks each week and hosts annual walk each year attracting people in the hundreds, having just celebrated its 20th year Ageing Well Midlothian continues to grow from strength to strength.
Project Coordinator, Vivian Wallace, said:
The volunteers have developed great friendships with community members, and this award is a great recognition for the fantastic work they have done over the years in the local community.
On behalf of the volunteers, I’d like to share how delighted we are to have received this award which highlights all the volunteers’ hard work.
Ageing Well Midlothian tailors its events each week to the needs and wants of participants, and the group continued to play an integral role throughout lockdown.
55-year-old, Vivian added: “Ageing Well Midlothian started over 20 years ago with one walking group in Dalkeith. One of the first volunteers, former health worker Ruth Simpson, recognised very early on the importance that walking has both physically and mentally and has continued to lead walks to this present day.
“The project has grown to include 36 walk leaders and 12 other volunteers who cater for over 650 participants in our different weekly groups. The participants and volunteers have developed the project from walking groups to include other activities such as badminton, dance, curling, table tennis, indoor bowling, football, netball and rugby.
“Our volunteers form very close bonds with our members and have organised social gatherings as well as taking holidays together and supporting each other through emotional hardships. In that sense Ageing Well Midlothian has become a vital cog in the local community for our members.
Throughout lockdown our volunteers regularly contacted participants to ensure they were well and catered for. Initially we collected shopping and medication for some of our participants, while laterally our volunteers offered to walk with individuals or small groups.
For many it was a rehabilitation. 20% of our members reported falls during lockdown, and so our volunteers had to rebuild their confidence to get out walking again.
Ageing Well Midlothain has won our Health Walk Group of the Year at our 2020 Volunteer Awards. You can view the rest of the winners here.