Rouken Glen Walkers stroll off with top award

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An East Renfrewshire walking group which has gone from strength to strength over the past 20 years has picked up a prestigious national award.

The Rouken Glen Walkers came into being two decades ago with just one volunteer leading 12 walkers.

Now, there are 200 people registered as walkers with around 120 people turning out regularly to take part. They are supported by a Walking Co-ordinator from East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and 14 trained volunteer Walk Leaders, who manage three walks every Wednesday around the park.

At a special event last week, the group was recognised as Health Walk Group of the Year by Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All, at its annual Volunteer Awards at the Scottish Parliament.

Ken Dougan, Walk leader, said: “It’s a very social club and through word of mouth it has continued to grow over the years. Someone tells a friend, and they bring their friends and new social groups start to form. I was first approached about joining the group when I was at a fitness class after taking early retirement.

“At that time, it was just me and nine ladies. Because it has mushroomed in size over the years, the walks are now split into three so we can also cater for different abilities.

“It’s marvellous to have been involved with the Rouken Glen Walkers; I’ve loved every moment. It’s very nice to win the award, and I’m sure all the walkers will be delighted when they hear about it.

The Rouken Glen Walkers is supported by Health Walk project, Walk ER, which receives support from Paths for All and is managed by East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

To find out more about Health Walks in the area, visit: www.pathsforall.org.uk/healthwalkfinder