Case Study - July 2022

This case study has been kindly completed by Elspeth Gracey, who is one of our valued Community Green Team volunteers.

The participant joined the health walks at the beginning of the year having been introduced by a friend who was already a participant.

They don’t live locally but described themselves as having “exhausted all my local walks during lockdown”. So they welcomed the opportunity to learn some new walking routes.

Improved health and well-being

They described the walks as good for physical and mental health. “Mental health-wise its been brilliant. Lockdown has been so isolating, particularly difficult for folk like me, living alone.” “I did do walks in my local area and could see people passing them in the street but this has given me the opportunity to interact with folk and get some exercise at the same time.”

“The walks are possibly more relaxing, it gives you a calmness, an opportunity to slow down just focusing on your surroundings and the people you are walking with and their conversations, not worrying about other things.”

Increased knowledge, skills and confidence

During the walks they reported that all the routes were new to them since they don’t live in this area. Also the walk leader often shares information about the history of the surrounding area. “A bit of history is always welcome.” They are a tourist guide and they are happy to “chip in” by doing some research to feed into the walks and other members will share their knowledge of local landmarks etc with each other whilst on the walks.

Recently one walk focused on foraging for food during the walk and they reported that “everybody loved that”.

Mental health-wise its been brilliant. Lockdown has been so isolating, particularly difficult for folk like me, living alone.” Health Walk participant

More connected to the community

They said they “Feel more connected to this area since I don’t live here and it has taken me out of my home area.” Although connecting with other people has been important for them they “wouldn’t necessarily connect beyond the walks” but they feel it is “nice to meet different people from a different area”.

More able to take part in community life

“Yes, I would say I feel more able to take part in community life. All the folk on the walk get on. They’re a great bunch. For me it’s been a great chance to interact with different folk.”

“We don’t just stick to with the same folk. We mix around. People walking at different paces. Everybody is accommodated.”

“I’ve made good contacts and will continue to go when I can, although I’m back at work now, but when I can fit it in around work I will go when I can.”

“The walks are well organised. The free lunch is good but I would be happy to pay for that.”

Greater pride in place

They said “I already knew that Glasgow is a great city but this has taught me to appreciate a whole new area. I’m impressed by how active the community is and how vibrant the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre is.” They feel the community centre compares very favourably with others they have known which they feel are substantially less impressive. “The community garden is a real asset , very under-used in my opinion, it’s gorgeous.”

“The walks have helped me get to know this area. It’s been good to see completely new areas and new scenery. We’ve even been across the river on the wee ferry.”

Any other comments?

“The walk leader is a dream, very thoughtful, very organised, gives us cake (which of course they shouldn’t) I can’t thank them enough. It’s a delight, not quite a life-saver but really nice to meet and interact with other people. They are a great bunch. It’s first class.”