Move Mates: Rosemary and Swapna

The mutual benefit of Move Mates

Move Mate pair Rosemary and Swapna told us how much they both get out of their walks together.

We met Swapna and Rosemary on a sunny afternoon as they headed out on their weekly walk. Swapna was keen to tell us how much she is enjoying volunteering as a Move Mate and was amazed how much it has helped her too.

With her fear of creepy crawlies, Swapna wasn’t sure how much she would have in common with Rosemary, a seasoned green-fingered gardener. Even as we walk, Rosemary is pointing out herbs that are ripe for foraging and she’s been helping Swapna to get over her fear of bees and spiders. Swapna admits she’s “very poor at gardening” and Rosemary is encouraging her and giving her lots of advice on how to do the basics. 

For Swapna, it’s also a very welcome break from her busy desk job, to get out in the fresh air and take a break from sitting!

A picture of Swapna smiling at Rosemary as they walk
A picture of Rosemary and Swapna walking alongg the road

It’s really touching to see the mental and the physical support that Move Mates is providing.

The volunteering really makes a difference in my life. It helps me with my workload and my office work. It helps me to calm down and spend time walking. It helps us both!”

Swapna – Move Mate Volunteer

Rosemary had a stroke which affected her mobility, so she now uses a 4-wheeled walker and she talked about how difficult this is with uneven pavements and bad road surfaces. The two of them joke that they should head on to the motorway for their next week as that’s the only road smooth enough for an easy walk!

Fortunately Rosemary lives in a fairly quiet residential area and the cars give her a wide berth as she strolls along the road with Swapna on safety duty.

I was a golfer, a walker – did the three peaks, a gardener. I can’t do any of it now.

When Swapna comes, it gives me a purpose to go out. She’s lovely company.”

Rosemary

Although they’ve only been walking together for three months, Swapna said that she had seen a change in Rosemary in that time, “I can see the smile in her face more”. Just bringing a smile to someone’s face is more than enough to motivate Swapna to continue volunteering. 

Rosemary is enjoying her role as a teacher, passing on her knowledge of plants and gardening too. They enjoyed picking out some of the best apples in the community garden and having a moment to enjoy this lovely local green space before their wander back. 

To find out more about Move Mates, including how to apply to volunteer, check out our Move Mates page

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