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!“
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!”
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.“