Move Mates Stories: Sheila and Joanne

Sheila has built up her confidence through walking with her volunteer Move Mate

Walking with Joanne, Sheila can happily walk around four miles (as long as there's a break for a rest and a cup of tea)

Sheila heard about Move Mates via our newsletter, passed on by a neighbour. She was initially concerned that it must be a costly service, but after feeling ‘locked up for five months’ during lockdown she was desperate to get her legs going again and got in touch with us. She was delighted to find out that Move Mates is free, and it wasn’t long before she was paired with John for her first walk.

When Sheila first started walking again, her legs “were a bit like jelly”. She and her Move Mate volunteers have gradually increased the length of the walks, meeting up every Monday afternoon. Sheila doesn’t feel confident to walk on her own but if she has someone alongside her then she loves walking in the fresh air, with good company, chatting away. 

Joanne, Sheila’s current volunteer Move Mate, has helped Sheila build up to walking four miles. They particularly enjoy walking through Westbank Park, and Homestead Park and often stop for cup of tea on route. Sheila also likes being out and about as they get to chat to lots of different people that they meet as they walk. 

“It’s always a very pleasurable afternoon. I’d say to anyone thinking of getting a Move Mate – try it! You don’t know the benefits until you try.

Sheila, participant

A woman smiling, sitting outside with a cup in her hand
A pause during a walk for a cup of tea
Woman sat on bench surrounded by daffodils
Sheila and Joanne enjoy spotting seasonal changes in nature

“I enjoy listening to her, she has a fabulous memory and is such a talented and interesting woman.

Joanne, Move Mate Volunteer

Joanne first heard about Move Mates from a friend who was already volunteering. At the time, she was semi-retired and thought that committing to one walk a week was doable. Joanne sees huge benefit in building relationships with the older generation and really enjoys having an older person in her life. Joanne finds the commitment and structure works for her. She also enjoys listening to Sheila’s stories of her Yorkshire childhood. Together they enjoy noticing the little things like the changing of the seasons as they walk and they love discussing interesting words too!

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