Vital recovery walks get national accreditation

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​Project getting people active wins approval from leading charity 

9th May 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

An initiative aimed at encouraging people back to health and fitness whist combatting isolation in rural communities has received a certificate of excellence from Age Scotland.

Walk in the Park, led by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Countryside Trust, is a series of low level walks in four areas of the National Park.

Starting in 2007, the walks now have over 100 participants in Balloch, Callander, Aberfoyle and Killin.

The walks last between 45 minutes and an hour and are tailored made to suit all levels of mobility.

Many of the participants have been referred to the project by GPs and physiotherapists as amnea s of  recovery from operations such as hip and knee replacements, or offering a safe walking environment to Parkinson’s or dementia patients.

Cathy Scott Walk in the Park coordinator said: “We’re delighted that the the project has been formally recognised as a great way to vastly improve both mental and physical wellbeing to people living in rural communities.

“Often people can become isolated living in villages without means of transport to help them get out and about. Our walks provide not only rehabilitation to wellness but also a social network to help people who are on their own and others who suffer with mental illness such as depression.

“We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Scotland and studies have shown that getting out and enjoying the countryside has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

"We take every measure to make sure the groups are inclusive with volunteers walking at different paces to suit all abilities. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this project and to watch members grow in confidence and fitness.”

A Social Return on Investment (SROI) study on the impact of a similar programme running in Glasgow showed that for every £1 invested there were £8 of benefits generated for society.

Keith Robson, Age Scotland chief executive, added: “Keeping physically active is the single best way to keep well as you get older.  A walk in one of Scotland’s stunning National Parks is just one of the many activities you can do to get some exercise that will improve your physical and mental well-being. 

"Walk in the Park is a brilliant initiative and Age Scotland was delighted to be able to recognise the excellent work done to help more people to love later life.” 

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