A breath of fresh air as our walking buddy project restarts

We are delighted that Move Mates, our flagship service, has started up again. Move Mates is our walking buddy project whereby a volunteer is paired with someone who lacks the confidence to get out of their home on their own, and walks with them on a mutually agreed regular basis.

We walk alongside several older people who may have mobility issues or lack confidence but it isn't just older people that we support - we walk with people of all ages. Some might be feeling anxious about getting out, others might just need some uplifting company alongside some fresh air.

So far 21 pairs of people have started walking again, and two dogs! 

Here's what some of them have been getting up to: 

Darcey Dog enjoyed it too

Hannah said it was great to meet and walk with Owen, and Darcey dog had a great time too. She had lots in common with Owen, and they share a love of theatre and animated movies.

Really glad Owen's carer came along with us, which was really useful as I was able to gauge what Owen was capable of, and when to encourage him to walk a bit further.  It was my first time being a Move Mate and Darcey and I had a great time - hope they did too. 

Her confidence is growing

Sheena walks with a lovely older woman who hasn’t been out since lockdown. They walked around her bungalow & patio, chatting away. It was great to be outside for them both and Sheena thinks her new friend's confidence is growing.

'Move the Masses is a godsend'

Helen is new to being a walking buddy and has been enjoying weekly strolls with her Move Mate along the river near Marygate and the Museum Gardens. Yesterday they enjoyed a takeaway coffee - a first for both of them since lockdown -  sheltering from the rain in the Gardens and watching a poor male pigeon fail to attract a female who was having nothing of it!

My Move Mate's parting comment was that 'Move the Masses is a godsend'.  It is so lovely to be appreciated in such a simple task but one that is clearly meaningful and I find most rewarding. I am glad I joined Move the Masses - a real positive from the madness of Covid-19!

Finding a local green space together

Bec has walked a couple of times with a young woman who lives close to her. She loved meeting her and showing her one of her favourite green spaces really near to both their houses. Heather had never been before and was blown away by the space.

They talked non-stop about all sorts of things and the time went very quickly. They managed to dodge the rain and both returned feeling rejuvenated for the fresh air and the little bit of exercise. The following week Heather brought her black labrador, Fred. He enjoyed the Stray too! 

The Foss was really beautiful

Deborah has been out and about with the women she walks with. They are enjoying the local area together. 

I've done two walks which have been a boost for both of us. Because of it I managed to finish work on time and my Move Mate got to walk and chat.  Our second walk was along the Foss, which was really beautiful. 

Would you like to experience the joys that volunteering brings?  Come and join us at Move the Masses as a volunteer. Apply here