Home   News   Article

Tongue Walking Group leader Ruth is inspiring others to follow in her footsteps

By John Davidson

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Ruth McDonogh is the Paths For All walk coordinator for the Tongue Walking Group.
Ruth McDonogh is the Paths For All walk coordinator for the Tongue Walking Group.

A volunteer walking group leader from Tongue says being part of the group provides a wider support network for all those who come along.

Ruth McDonogh has been a walk leader with the Paths For All charity for nearly a decade and is dedicated to bringing the community on the north coast together.

The 70-year-old, who leads weekly walks while helping to fight social isolation in the rural community, believes there are more than just physical benefits to walking together.

She said: “Being a part of a walking group isn’t just for the health benefits, it gives everyone an opportunity to socialise and provides people with support when they might be struggling.

“We have helped each other through bereavement, difficult times and have provided people with a safe space to chat. We have also celebrated happy times together with birthdays and cake featuring regularly!

“It is very rewarding to see people make positive progression in their walking. In the first week they might only be able walk 100 yards, and the next week they go for 200 yards. It makes me proud to be a part of a group that can support someone no matter their ability and help improve their health.

There are coastal walks aplenty for the Tongue Walking Group.
There are coastal walks aplenty for the Tongue Walking Group.

“For me, being a walk coordinator allows me the opportunity to make connections and links throughout the community which I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Each week, I learn something new from a fellow walker – whether it's about local wildlife, history, or more."

Scotland’s national walking charity is celebrating its 14,000 dedicated volunteers across the country who are helping to get Scots walking and wheeling each week.

Paths for All is thanking those giving up their time to support the health of others whilst calling on those interested in walking to help facilitate and encourage more people to take up the pastime.

Ruth has served as a walk coordinator for the Tongue Walking Group, where she helps lead free weekly walks in the local area for people of all ages and abilities, for nearly 10 years.

The charity hopes shining a spotlight on walking and wheeling champions like Ruth will encourage like-minded individuals to consider volunteering and inspire more people to walk or wheel every day.

Kevin Lafferty, CEO of Paths for All, said: “Walking offers immense benefits. It can substantially improve physical health, provide opportunities to connect with nature, forge new friendships, and reduce your environmental impact – all while discovering the hidden charm of neighbourhoods and landscapes nearby.

The Tongue group enjoying a forest stroll.
The Tongue group enjoying a forest stroll.

“Becoming a walk leader can be extremely rewarding, and I hope Ruth's story will inspire others to join this fulfilling journey. Giving back and helping others is a great way to release positive emotions and make new friends.

“Ruth's experience serves as a terrific example of the positive impact one can have by taking on the role of a walk leader.”

Health Walks like the Tongue Walking Group are free and welcome those of all abilities, including wheelchair users and those living with disabilities.

The walking groups take place all over Scotland and support the most inactive people to engage in active travel.

Paths for All facilitates more than 850 Health Walks across Scotland, with volunteers leading and assisting the groups. To find out more about being a walk leader, or volunteering, visit: www.pathsforall.org.uk/walking-for-health/wfh-volunteering

Rural transport providers help the group explore further afield.
Rural transport providers help the group explore further afield.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More