Tommy started the walking group OUT on Sundays around two years ago to help LGBTIQ+ people become more active in a relaxed and fun environment. The group has since expanded through the commitment and hard work of Tommy.
Tommy said: “A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with liver disease and borderline diabetes, I was told that if I did not change my lifestyle and diet that I would be taking medication for life and my liver would eventually fail.
Walking has not only been a good way to continue my hobby for learning about history and having adventures but it’s also helped my weight loss journey. This has completely changed my life and I now love getting outdoors and exercising, helping my physical and mental health tremendously.
For anyone who would like to walk and think they can’t due to illness or ability - I say give it a try. Even if you start from walking round the block to exploring your own area, as I found out from my own area, there’s lots of history and stories to discover on your doorstep.
The volunteer even carries out walking tours across Glasgow, educating and highlighting historical landmarks on the walk.
Tommy also places great emphasis on caring for LGBTIQ+ community members who suffer from isolation and loneliness helping them to improving their mental health and physical well-being through walking.
He added: “For a lot of people, whilst out on our walks it is the only they can truly be themselves. I help make people feel at ease and a lot of the young people might not be out to family members or if they are, they might not be supportive.
“You meet people who you wouldn’t ever have the opportunity to otherwise. I’ve been able to meet amazing people. You’re never doing the same thing every day which keeps the group exciting.
“History tours show people - especially young LGBTQ+ people about the gay life that existed before. It helps them see a different version of Glasgow than what they have in front of them and many won’t know about the history of old clubs and pubs.”
Tommy was commended at the first ever Paths for All virtual awards ceremony hosted by BBC’s Scotland’s Fiona Stalker on November 4. You can read about the other winners here.