General News:

Sport Aberdeen awarded funding to get Scotland walking


Walk Aberdeen, run by award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen, has received £4,000 of funding from Scottish walking charity Paths for All in a bid to improve health and wellbeing at a local level.

Walk Aberdeen, which delivers Health Walks across the city on a weekly basis, secured the grant after submitting an application outlining plans to offer sessions aimed primarily at developing a new programme to encourage people of all abilities to take up walking. 

‘First Steps’ aims to break down barriers to participation including lack of confidence, mobility or fear of falling and will allow more people to take part in physical activity within a community setting. 

The funding will also enable Sport Aberdeen to train new volunteers in leading the programme. 

Sport Aberdeen’s Healthy and Active Communities Team developed First Steps in response to an increased number of referrals from Allied Health Professions for people looking to continue their rehabilitation in the community. 

The group’s grant is part of a £160,000 pot from Paths for All’s annual Walking for Health fund which is supported by the Scottish Government.

The fund aims to increase the number of people taking part in Health Walks, improve wellbeing, and expand the amount of physical activity taken by people in Scotland. 

Keith Gerrard, Sport Aberdeen Director of Healthy and Active Communities, said:

“Receiving this grant from Paths for All allows Sport Aberdeen to continue to make a real difference to peoples lives throughout Aberdeen. First Steps sessions are designed to encourage and enable people to walk more often, with more confidence helping to boost overall wellbeing.

“Not only can a simple activity like walking improve strength and balance for people of all abilities, but the positive benefits for those living with a long-term health condition can be lifechanging.

“We recognise the benefits of combining strength and balance with walking for everyday activity, functional fitness and social interaction, and by developing First Steps we hope that this will encourage people of all levels to take up a positive social and lifestyle change.” 

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All said: 

“Many congratulations to Sport Aberdeen on securing this funding which I hope will see many more people enjoying regular walking in Aberdeen and the north-east. 

“This project is just one of many to receive a grant from our Walking for Health fund. Throughout the country, organisations working at the community level have come up with a range of initiatives and ideas that are making it easier for people to join Health Walks and reduce health inequalities. 

“This is an important step towards increasing the number of people walking in our communities which will, in turn, have a positive impact on health and wellbeing across Scotland.” 

For more information, contact Brian Harrison, Sport Aberdeen Health Walk Coordinator on 01224 507701 or click here.