news Move Mates is Expanding Walking buddy project awarded a year long grant We have had some good news at Move the Masses HQ over the summer. We were awarded a Development Grant from City of York Council to fund our Move Mates walking buddy scheme for a full 12 months. Recognising that we have already made a significant difference to many older, lonely, anxious and less confident people in the city, from 1st October we can do even more. We have taken on a wonderful Project Administrator, Barbara Griffin, who has already got stuck into matching new volunteers with our beneficiaries, which means Project Manager, Helen Carr, can take a more strategic approach. The grant enables us to propel the project further and enable us to focus on making it sustainable long term. As well as core costs, we will use the funding to develop our training offer, produce a welcome pack, improve our monitoring systems, and ensure our volunteers and beneficiaries are reaching the goals they set out to achieve. Some people want to gain the fitness and confidence necessary to eventually get out and walk by themselves, others need a walking buddy to maintain their level of mobility so they do not deteriorate. Some people feel anxious or low and need support to get out of their front door. Our feedback reveals everyone feels good getting out and about, having a chat and feeling the wind on their face. Our walking buddy service is as much about mental wellbeing as physical wellbeing. We are always on the look out for new volunteers. And volunteering as a Move Mate really is a very flexible way to volunteer. Most walks take less than 20 minutes and after your initial meeting it is up to you and your beneficiary to work out when the next walk might be. If you works shifts, that is fine, if you want to do it in your lunch hour, that works too. Whatever is best for you. The feedback from all our Move Mates is that they feel they get as much out of going for a walk with their beneficiary as the beneficiary does walking with them. That’s definitely a win:win in our book.