Age Concern Wellington received their Golden Foot Walking Award recently in recognition of a service that meets a significant community need. The Companion Walking Service matches trained volunteers with older people who are experiencing reduced mobility, mild cognitive impairment or a need for companionship, often after an operation or a fall. Over 60 Wellington people go out for a walk on a regular basis to improve mobility and gain confidence.
Ellen Blake from Living Streets Aotearoa said, “the Golden Foot Walking Awards celebrate New Zealand achievements that support walking. The Companion Walking Service reduces social isolation and helps get people back on their feet and out in the community. That’s good for both mental and physical health and wellbeing. We hope this unique service is an inspiration for others to set up similar programmes to help people recover from health issues.”
”We were really pleased to receive this Award,” said Stephen Opie from Age Concern Wellington. “We knew it was a great programme but it is really special to us for others to recognise this too. The Walking Companion Service helps keep older people active, engaged and living independently. Age Concern provides a range of services for older people, and here in Wellington we have contact with over 750 people each week through a wide range of services.”
The Award this year is made by Global Wood Rework (Wellington) from recycled wood and shaped like a foot that can be hung on the wall.
The New Zealand Walking Awards were held virtually online at the end of August 2022 to celebrate and recognise New Zealand achievements for walkers by acknowledging innovative new facilities, highlighting national best practise and rewarding ongoing commitment to walking. The awards are open to all - private companies and public organisations, not-for-profit groups, and community organisations or individuals. Living Streets Aotearoa. This was an opportunity to present the Award in person.