A walking group which has been running in Knowle West for nearly 20 years was given recognition for its work at this year’s Celebrating Age Festival.
The group is run by Knowle West Healthy Living Centre in Downton Road and led by volunteers – with walks ranging from One to Three Hearts, depending on fitness levels.
Walk leaders Ken and Marie Jones and Marion and Bill Davis were given the award for a “group that enhances the lives of others” by the Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Alexander at a ceremony at City Hall on Saturday (23 September).
Ken Jones (85) has been part of the group since 1998 with wife Marie (83). He became a volunteer walk leader in 2003 and Marie a few years later and they both take the Two Hearts group out.
He says: “Walking helps keep you healthy and fit, the more you are able to walk and keep involved in things – that can help you to live longer. Some of our members if they didn’t go walking they would probably not go anywhere.
“We meet once a week. One week we go locally and another to somewhere further away – we’ve been to places like Chepstow, Brean and Shepton Mallet as well as Victoria Park in Bath – so the group are able to go to places they haven’t been before…”
Marion Davis (77) leads the One and Three Hearts groups and has been a walk leader for 12 years after joining two years before. She is assisted by husband Bill (78) who took up the role six years ago.
Marion says: “I think it’s beneficial because there are a lot of elderly people and it’s for company… They can have a talk and it gets them out of the house. We average about 18 or 19 in a group.
“It has helped my asthma, keeps me fit, you can lose weight and it’s interesting and you can talk to people…”
Laura Hathway from Knowle West Healthy Living Centre said she had nominated the volunteer walk leaders because they were such “reliable, passionate and caring members of the community” and had been volunteering for a long period of time, supporting “health, wellbeing, and social isolation.”
The walking groups are run on Mondays, meeting at 11am at Knowle West Health Park and Tuesdays and Thursdays meeting between9.30-9.45am in designated points around Bristol.
For more details contact Laura Hathway at the Healthy Living Centre on 0117 377 2255.