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KA Leisure’s Health and Wellbeing Officer Helen Campbell really has been going the “extra mile” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now her work organising and supporting Health Walks all over North Ayrshire has been recognised with a top title at the Paths for All Volunteer Awards 2020.

Helen was named Project Coordinator of the Year at the virtual event which celebrated the efforts of 13 individuals and groups across Scotland who have worked to inspire others to walk, lead and coordinate Health Walks.

Helen’s daily job included coordinating the Active Lifestyles Team’s virtual walking programme set up during the Covid restrictions and providing phone support to volunteer walk leaders and participants.

It was during one of those calls that she realised that the volunteer walk leader she was chatting to was particularly unwell.

As a first aid trainer, Helen, from Fairlie, realised that the lady needed immediate medical attention and called an ambulance. She then stayed on the phone offering reassurance, until the ambulance arrived.

In her own time, Helen has continued to provide additional Walk ‘n’ Talk sessions and was ensuring that she made extra telephone contact with some of the walk leaders and participants who were more vulnerable and socially isolated and was supporting them by picking up prescriptions and dropping off shopping,

Every weekend, Helen headed to her gardening allotment where she delivered strength and balance exercise sessions for the other allotment owners.
She also supported a walk leader who was struggling to cope with a recent bereavement.

Fiona Comrie, KA Leisure’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, said: “Our Active Lifestyles Team delivers a range of services across North Ayrshire, including the Active North Ayrshire Physical Activity on Referral Programme and a number of Health Walks within our KA Walk Programme. We are delighted that the work the team do to support our communities has been recognised through Helen’s award.”

Government guidance still permits the Active Lifestyles Team to continue to deliver their walking programme, ensuring strict social distancing and while the facility-based class programme is suspended, there is a programme of 37 weekly health walks taking place.

Walks are suitable for a range of fitness levels and are an ideal way for anyone feeling socially isolated to get support and be active safely in the outdoors.

If you or a family member would be interested in joining one of our health walks, contact the Active Lifestyles Team for further information on (01294) 6051288 or email the team at activelifestyles@kaleisure.com