Volunteer Chair named Step-Count Champion

National charity announces early bird entry for upcoming walking competition 

Volunteer Chairperson at Paths for All awarded as Scotland’s Step Count Champion Image used by Scottish PR agency

THE VOLUNTEER Chair of Scottish Disability Sport has been named as the country’s Step Count Champion by a national walking charity. 

Catherine Goodfellow from Edinburgh has been praised for her contribution to walking after being nominated by her team mates for the coveted award. 
The 53-year-old led her team, ‘One Step Two Far’, in the spring iteration of Paths for All’s Step Count Challenge – an eight week-long walking challenge which encourages workplaces from all over Scotland to partake in active travel. 

Catherine said: “For a number of years, Scottish Disability Sport has had various teams entering the Step Count Challenge as a fun internal competition to get active whilst competing for steps. 

“It is an excellent way to encourage staff and volunteer board members to participate in an activity which brings people together who would not normally interact as closely in person or virtually. 

“The Challenge gave structure to my eight weeks – instead of starting the day with breakfast at my laptop and starting work, it made me go out for a morning walk, made me leave the screen during the day at various intervals, and made me go out for at least one evening walk. I have to say it became a little addictive.”

Catherine’s team were one of 878 groups which took part in the last challenge, walking a combined 2.5 billion steps across the 8 weeks. 

However, it was Catherine’s motivation and dedication to her teammates which led to her becoming the captain and being nominated for the award. 

She added: “To keep motivation high, I wanted to emphasise that the challenge was much more about setting our own targets. We had one member who was expecting a baby in the autumn, one who travels a lot with work, two office-based staff with busy family lives, and me. We were not all based together and so we set up a WhatsApp group to maintain contact.  

“I did not want to overwhelm anyone, but we sent fun motivational messages and anecdotes and shared photos of walks so that we were all contributing no matter where we were, or how far we walked. 

“My team felt that I encouraged them all with their busy lifestyles to not worry about how many steps, but that every step mattered no matter how many or how little. 

“The whole experience was fun and brought us together. We are all from various areas, but we arranged to come together for dog walks, walks around local parks and this would be followed by dinner into the evening. We wouldn’t have done that, but the challenge gave us the purpose that then went beyond the steps.” 

Paths for All Charity step Count Challenge Image used by Scottish PR agency

Paths for All’s autumn?Step Count Challenge?begins on Monday, 30th?October. Businesses can register a team of five and customise their own challenges with tailored branding and personalised messaging. Those taking part will also have the exciting opportunity to win prizes in both a grand prize draw and weekly challenge draws. 

Catherine is one of 10 groups and individuals that was recognised at Paths for All’s Volunteer Awards.  

Hosted by the BBC Scotland’s Fiona Stalker, with awards presented by sponsoring MSP Nicola Sturgeon,?the event recognised 10 groups and individuals throughout Scotland who have gone the extra mile to keep their communities active.? 

Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport “Supporting people in Scotland to walk and wheel is a key part of our vision of a country where more people are more active, more often.  

“A huge number of highly motivated and skilled people are helping us deliver this vision, especially the passionate volunteers who do so much to help others overcome challenges to participation and facilitate activities across the country.  

“They really are inspirational, the recognition from Paths for All in these Awards is very well deserved.” 

Kevin Lafferty, Chief Executive Officer at Paths for All, said: “Every year I am blown away at the number of incredible groups and volunteers out there determined to make a difference. The work carried out by volunteers is directly improving the nation’s physical, mental and social health, reducing social isolation and loneliness and helping people make more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices. 

“It’s been fantastic hosting the awards at the Scottish Parliament again this year, I always enjoy getting to socialise with our amazing volunteers and hear first-hand about the invaluable contributions they have been making. 

“Thank you to everyone for their efforts and ongoing dedication.” 

Paths for All works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiative to improve the mental, social and physical health of the country. 

The charity awards thousands of pounds worth of grants to worthwhile projects that improve health, promote walking and improve environments for people to be active in – making for a happier, healthier, greener Scotland. 

To find out more about the early bird entries to the autumn Step Count Challenge visit: https://www.stepcount.org.uk/ 

A full list of Volunteer Award winners 2023 can be found on Paths for All’s website: http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/volunteerawards