Award recognises inspirational volunteer from Boston

All smiles as Stuart Parker hands over the award to Karen Bridges. EMN-170910-164357001
All smiles as Stuart Parker hands over the award to Karen Bridges. EMN-170910-164357001

A volunteer from Boston who credits her role with increasing her confidence has been recognised with an award.

Karen Bridges, 51, said: “It’s made me come out of my shell, feel confident and I’m no longer on antidepressants, so I feel a lot better in myself.”

Karen is a committee member for Boston Community Health Walks, made up of 12 groups that walk in Boston and surrounding villages.

She also leads three walks which come under the Walking for Health scheme, in partnership with the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support.

To add to her roles, Karen also looks up new walking routes, supports others on the walks, and has set up a Facebook page to promote the walks further.

In honour of her dedication, Karen has been presented with a Special Recognition award.

Speaking on how she makes walking more interesting, Karen said: “We’re always looking for birds and picking blackberries.”

Lincolnshire Co-op began supporting health walks in April, and work closely with Boston Community Health Walks.

Karen was presented with her award by Lincolnshire Co-Op board member, Stuart Parker.

Lincolnshire Co-op community and health walks coordinatior, Carly Pillay, said: “It’s important to say thank you because the determination and dedication of the volunteers, come rain or shine, means the health walks can go ahead.

“Each of the winners were put forward by other volunteers and the nominations just blew us away.

“The winners all go the extra mile, whether that’s supporting others on the walks, encouraging people to join up, or doing vital work to keep them going.

“Helping people stay healthy is important to us and we’re proud to work with all the volunteers.”

There are more than 60 regular, volunteer-run health walks held across Lincolnshire’s seven districts.

All walks are free of charge, are held once a week and can last between 30 and 90 minutes.

Routes start and finish at the same location.

Health walks can be used as a chance to learn more about your local area, meet new friends, boost your mental wellbeing and spot some wildlife.

For further details on health walks, visit www.lincolnshirecoop.com/healthwalks

To find health walks in your local area, visit www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder