April 8, 2011 Leave a comment
The Waverley Care Walking Group has been out and about with a stroll from Crammond to Silverknowes yesterday. The group was trying to strike a balance between enjoying the sun and keeping out of the wind, not an easy task! Some of the group braved the tides and walked out to Crammond Island before making a swift return to enjoy an ice-cream on the beach.
Going on a walk has many benefits but for some it is the only way they can feel truly at ease, safe in the knowledge they are not going to be stigmatised. The Waverley Care walking group has been providing precisely that environment for six years. Here’s what some of the walkers have to say about being part of the group:
“We feel safe with each other. It can be one of the least judgemental parts of my life in the sense that we don’t ask many questions but we just get on.”
“I was worried when I first came but I’ve never felt so welcome. It’s a good group of people; we all get on with each other, we help each other in a lot of ways emotionally, we are a good support network for one another.”
“Just being in the fresh air helps. It’s the social thing as well, getting together (afterwards) and going to have a coffee.”
“I like the fact that it is regular, you always have got something to get up for and go to, sometimes it’s the highlight of my week.”
“I’ve got some really, really good friends who I think will be friends for life. Without the group I would probably still be pretty much isolated.”
The walking group is open to anyone living with HIV or Hepatitis C and there is a core of regular members. However, the walkers do go out of their way to welcome new members because they remember the fear they felt when coming along for the first time, having not been used to being in a situation where they are accepted simply for who they are.
If you are interested in joining the group please contact Gaby on 0131 558 1425 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org