National award for Kirrie Connections volunteer

A Kirriemuir woman has won a national award for her efforts to help people with dementia to get regular exercise by leading local walks.

Mark Dowie
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 7:00am
National award for Kirrie Connections volunteer
Margaret Mackie (right) was recognised for her voluntary work with Kirrie Connections.

Margaret Mackie won the award for her voluntary work with the dementia-friendly health walk project run by the Kirrie Connections Walking Group and national charity Paths for All.

Accessibility and inclusivity are an essential part of walking for Margaret, whose husband is living with dementia. Not only do the walks provide an opportunity for those with dementia to exercise but it also offers respite to those caring for those living with dementia.

Margaret has been named as the winner of the Dementia Friendly Walking Volunteer of the Year Award at the Paths for All Volunteer Awards 2021.

The Kirrie Connections Walking Group is a gentle dementia-inclusive walk around Kirriemuir that is open to everyone and led by trained volunteers.

Margaret said: “I’m overwhelmed with it all. I can’t believe it. I’m so please with my award but also that the centre gets recognition.”

A dementia support hub, Kirrie Connections works alongside Paths for All to ensure health walks continue to run and offer safe walking services.

Margaret continued: “It’s a 24-hour job to look after my husband and it’s just a little bit of help, a bit of respite for me. I’m grateful that there are projects like this where people like my husband can have a safe space to walk and converse with people.

“Dementia is such a lonely disease, so for a group of people to come together like this a few times a week is very important. It allows people with dementia to get time to socialise with others which they perhaps wouldn’t usually get.”

Margraret was commended at the awards ceremony, which was held virtually for the second year and hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Fiona Stalker.

She was among 11 different winners at the 12th annual Volunteer Awards that highlighted the outstanding work carried out by volunteers across the country. Paths for All supports local authorities and communities to develop inclusive environments for people to be active whether walking, cycling or wheeling. Further information about health walks in Angus can be found at​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

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