Move Mates Stories: James and Imelda

It's the differences that bring us together

‘It’s such a misty tactile thing one’s mental health and the stigma with males doesn’t help.’ – James

When James joined Move the Masses in November 2020, he was in a rough spot. The combination of losing his dog and the lockdown meant he felt more isolated than ever. Like many others, the lockdown made socialising nearly impossible. Until Imelda came along.

‘I can get everything out with her. I trust her. She just lets me go on and on.’



From conversations about NASA and Mars to saving the planet, James and Imelda just clicked. James says that Move The Masses has been crucial for improving his mental health, and he sits on Tuesday evenings ‘buzzing’ for their Wednesday walks to the post office or cafe.


From his weekly walks with Imelda, James has gained the confidence to get a haircut, go in taxis, and go to the post office by himself. These walks provided not only a form of socialisation and a way to get out of the house, but the trigger to push himself to not be afraid.


We’re social animals at the end of the day’. Through the isolating experience of lockdown and having COVID himself, Imelda has helped shine happiness into James’ life.


But it’s not just James who has benefitted from the walks.


‘‘We’re from completely different backgrounds – utter opposites – but bizarrely that’s what makes it work.’ 


Imelda has done a variety of volunteering in the past, but she was drawn to Move the Masses by its ability to make a real impact on the lives of people just by walking. The ‘formula’, as she put it, is perfect.


Having walked with him for around seven months now, Imelda claims that it’s their differences that is the key to their success. Through their weekly walks, they’ve been able to share new perspectives on topics and discuss a wide range of subjects.


‘It’s everything I wanted it to be and more’



Both Imelda and James have seen their own lives be positively changed after meeting one another. It has birthed a friendship which may otherwise not have been formed, and despite the rainy and cold months it has been a source of warmth and happiness to both of them.

Share this post