Move Mates Stories: Amy and Ellie

Meeting Ellie for a weekly walk has had a huge impact on *Amy's life in just a few months

Amy has gone from being unable to open her front door to anyone because of her anxiety to being able to enjoy a walk to a local café thanks to her Move Mate volunteer

During lockdown Leeds City Council had organised Zoom calls to help support those who were socially isolated.  On one of these calls Amy had heard about Move Mates and thought we might be able to help. Amy has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, this meant she had to finish her career early. She walks with a stroller and feels quite anxious going out, as she has had panic attacks when out on her own.

Amy’s main goals are to get out confidently, have some company and work on strengthening her legs. Walking with Ellie has really helped with these over the last three months. Knowing that Ellie is coming means Amy is motivated to walk and she feels like she is gaining confidence in her walking by doing it with someone else.

Amy has already gained confidence and she’s focusing on getting better with walking and walking more freely. She feels it’s really nice to get out and she doesn’t feel any pressure when she’s out with Ellie.  She appreciates having someone to have a good chat with and have a little walk. They often head to a cafe down the road from Amy’s flat, pause for a cuppa and then head back. From Amy’s point of view she’s already come a long way from being too anxious to open her door!

*Name changed for confidentiality

I’ve gone from not being able to open my door to anyone to going out for walks.

Amy, participant

Woman sat at cafe table with coffee
Amy enjoys a pause during a walk at a nearby café
Two women walking, tree behind
Getting outside makes a big difference to Amy

It is a great way to get out and support people from my local community to go out for a walk and it makes a difference to my life too to give back.

Ellie, Move Mate Volunteer

Ellie is a Civil Servant working in Leeds, she walks with Amy once a week. She feels that the weekly walks help improve the physical health and general wellbeing of the people we walk with by reducing isolation, increasing physical activity and making new connections. Ellie is also happy that we signpost to a range of organisations, activities or warm spaces. Ellie has written an article for her workplace, telling them about her volunteering with Move Mates and encouraging her colleagues to sign up too! 

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