Community Walk Leader Dave Phillips recently received a national Walking Champion of the Year certificate.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate volunteer Walk Leaders across Scotland.

The Walk on Hebrides project, hosted by NHS Western Isles, nominated Dave for Paths for All’s Volunteer Award for his outstanding contribution to a community walks programme with Pairc Trust.

Community volunteer, Dave, launched Pairc community walks with Pairc Trust Office Manager, Fiona Stokes, in November 2017.

They started with one weekly walk and since then they have gone from strength to strength and now offer two weekly walks including a Cancer Friendly Walk.

They have been trained to ensure they have the skills and confidence to support people joining the walk who are affected by cancer: people living with cancer, their friends, family and carers.

Dave said: “Having walked the hills and dales of Great Britain nearly all my life, it was very natural for me to want to get involved when asked to join the project on the islands. The benefits to health are laid out for all to hear and read about, especially as you are getting into your senior years. It is very tempting to sit in the chair reading or watching TV, but a good walk with good company is far better for your mental, social and physical health.”

Since joining the Walk on Hebrides project Fiona and Dave have created inspiring community walks in Pairc with enthusiasm and dedication to improving the health of their local community.

Fiona said: “Dave has spent a large part of his life volunteering for a variety of organisations and activities, including Scouts, ballroom dancing and recently for Pairc Trust community walks. We are very thankful for Dave’s time and the skills he brings. Pairc could not have asked for a better Walk Leader than Dave Phillips!”

For more information on the Walk on Hebrides project visit:  https://www.promotionswi.scot.nhs.uk/

Photograph: Lorraine Gillies (NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department), Colin Gilmour (NHS Western Isles Health Promotion dept.), Dave Phillips (Walking Champion) and Fiona Stokes (Pairc Trust).