How many Move Mates?

Our volunteers who walk with multiple Move Mates...

“I wanted to do some volunteering and I like walking myself, so it just felt right for me.”

We have some amazing volunteers who walk with several Move Mates, which makes an enormous difference in helping us keep up with demand. We spoke to 3 volunteers who commit to multiple Move Mates to see how they got involved in our walking buddy service in the first place and what they love about their walks.

 

Kate, who is a physiotherapist by trade, has been walking with three Move Mates. She has a busy schedule fitting them all in every 2 weeks or so and giving her Move Mates walks to look forward to.

 

Kate told us why she started volunteering with Move Mates at the beginning.

I suppose I like to encourage people to be active, I’m a physiotherapist by background, that’s my day job, and at the end of the day my workload are people who are struggling with mobility so I suppose a little bit of it is, if I can do my little bit to keep people away from needing my service it might be a bit of a bonus!

– Kate

Two of Kate’s Move Mates have mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, so Kate treats this differently than someone she would be trying to rehabilitate physically, as with her Move Mates the company is what helps improve their wellbeing.

 

“Feeling like you’re doing some good and getting people on their feet and getting people moving and if you can just chip into their psyche that exercise is good! Moving is good!”

 

Kate and her Move Mate stop to admire the daffodils

Kerry also walks with several Move Mates, originally signing up to volunteer to build her confidence and fitness after a period of depression last year. While she started walking with one Move Mate, she found she had the time to support more of our beneficiaries:

 

“I started with one move mate, and quickly added another because I have quite a bit of free time at the moment. With two move mates, I also have the capacity to help out with cover walks from time to time.”

 

Kerry says she loves making a difference to her Move Mates’ weeks, helping improve their physical and mental wellbeing in the long term too.

 

“I also enjoy the opportunity to talk to people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and discover bits of York that I’d never seen before, despite living here for 25 years!”

 

John, volunteer and trustee, walks with three Move Mates at the moment.

He started volunteering with Move the Masses after his mother died in 2017. John says he became more aware of how loneliness and isolation can affect older people, especially those less fortunate than his mum.

 

“When Egg was talking about setting up Move the Masses I was quick to jump on board as it ticked a number of boxes for me.”

 

John is retired and said that he had time to spare which led to him being paired with more Move Mates, which helped massively as Move the Masses was expanding rapidly and had more potential beneficiaries than volunteers available.

 

He enjoys the variety he gets from walking with three Move Mates, as each of his beneficiaries has a different story to tell and come from different backgrounds.

It is an enriching experience for me to hear their stories and life experiences and to share with them their hopes and dreams and yes even their sadnesses and regrets.

– John

He also enjoys leaving his Move Mates in a more cheerful place than when they started their walk and loves seeing them eager to set off when he arrives.

 

“I always look forward to seeing them at the start of a walk eager to get out and about. Truly rewarding all round!”

 

We have a growing pool of volunteers who walk with multiple Move Mates or stand in and cover Move Mate walks when we are in need. The variety and differences between all our beneficiaries really stand out in these pairings and proves just how diverse the range of people we support is.

 

Volunteering as a Move Mate is an amazing way to meet new people and have the chance to get to know people you would never otherwise meet. If you would like to walk with one (or many!) Move Mates then you can apply to volunteer with us here.

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