Partnerships for Wellbeing
Partnerships for Wellbeing is a Highland wide voluntary organisation based in Inverness dedicated to serving all ages in the community.
We are delighted to be able to say that the new Portree group has launched on 7th January with 7 new walkers and 3 WL’s in attendance, welcome to all! This group was planned to be monthly but Sue Wood our development worker on Skye will support all new walkers to meet weekly to start with, as it establishes, and we can decide if weekly walks are viable. It’s lovely to expand our area a wee bit more on Skye and we’re very grateful to everyone who has made this possible, particularly Niki and Karen, new walk leaders from the last 2 training events on Skye.
Happy New Year to all our walk leaders and walkers – let’s hope this is a great year for getting out and about, keeping and maintaining fitness and flexibility through our regular health walks.
On that, here at Step It Up Highland, we are keen to ensure groups have appropriate linkages through to walk opportunities and information on what your group is likely to see whilst out and about. With that in mind on our links page you will find excellent links through to a range of Scottish Natural Heritage websites: some with information on seasonal sightings of wildlife, a blog, and a great one where you can zoom in/out on maps of areas to see what special designations places may have (such as areas of special conservation, scenic areas and species sightings within these areas). This last is slightly more complex to use but is such a great tool once you are used to it. Please note that areas often only show up as you zoom in and out within the map area you are interested in, as this has caught me out a few times! The link will take you to the interactive map home page and there are tabs to see species or places and it is on the places tab that you can zoom in for area designations.
In addition we are just putting on a link to the ranger service website ‘Outdoor Highlands’, which is very clear and useful with all the ranger information, long distance routes and events coming up via ranger services.
We would encourage you to develop your group links with these excellent partner organisations, as many of you do already! If you need any assistance with this please do call on us in the office and we’ll do our best to assist- as always. Enjoy our beautiful outdoors and if your group has any unusual sightings (or photos) to share or have been on a longer or different walk we’d be delighted to hear from you and share things with the other groups on our News & Views page!
Lynne – Co-ordinator
We’re delighted to say that following recent walk leader training on 28th August, that 3 new groups are about to launch.
Portree: The group will meet on the second Friday of each month at the Aros Centre Portree at 1pm beginning on the 10th January 2014.
Waternish: Catherine & Madeline will meet walkers at the Wathernish Hall car park at 3.30pm every Monday and this will start from 30th September. The local community are very supportive and a local café owner has very kindly donated weekly refreshments in return for donations.
Broadford: The inaugural walk for Gill & Linda has been postponed a little due to ill health, but will step out from Monday 7th October, meeting at the Main Car Park in Broadford (next to the petrol station).
Sue Wood, our Skye Development worker will be supporting these groups in their early stages by walking with each group when time allows and drumming up interest by way of press contacts, information distribution and of course our best ‘weapon’ word of mouth!
We wish these new groups all the very best as they establish and look forward to hearing news and getting a few photos of them in action when possible.
Tain Group Encourages Joining Ranger Guided Walks
“On 29th November last year (2011) the Tain Group accompanied Martin Hind – Easter Ross Countryside Ranger – together with other members of the public on one of his guided walks entitled “Tain Bay Birdlife”.
This coincided with our normal day and time to walk – 1pm on Tuesdays.
Although it was rather a bleak and blustery day, (well it was November after all!) it proved a very interesting and informative talk about the various species to be found wintering on the shoreline.
The ranger had taken along his tripod mounted binoculars enabling us to see a more close up view of the birds.
I would encourage other groups to attend the Ranger Guided Walks which are published in a yearly booklet. There is a nominal fee and though it says booking is not necessary, for a larger group, it is advisable to let them know in advance.”
(Sent in by Chris, a Tain Walk Leader)
Tain ‘Jubilee’ Outing
“To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee our group decided it would be fitting to have a ‘special’ day out during the summer.
We drew up a list of suggestions for venues and by far and away the most popular was ‘Dingwall to Kyle Of Lochalsh by train.’ (We’re very democratic you know – putting things to the vote.)
Thus, on Tuesday 17th July 2012, 25 people gathered at Dingwall Railway Station – 20 group members plus 5 family and friends.
I might add that many were wearing apparel which reflected the red, white and blue aspect of the day.
After a two hour journey through some beautiful scenery we duly alighted at Kyle of Lochalsh.
As not everyone wanted to do the same thing, people then split into smaller groups, arranging to regroup at 5pm.
The majority of us took the service bus to Portree on the Isle of Skye; 3 took another bus to Eilean Donan Castle; 3 stayed in Kyle and went on a glass bottomed boat trip and 2 walked across the bridge and returned by bus.
Our return train departed at 5.20pm and we arrived back at Dingwall at 7.15pm, tired but happy.
The weather was kind to us and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.
So much so, we have already been asked, “Where are we going next year?”
(Sent in by Chris, a Tain Walk Leader)
New Ballachulish Group
Due to the success of Ballachulish’s established Step It Up Highland (SIUH) group, which has now become Step It Up Further (SIUH), a new group was started on Friday 20th April 2012.
Shorter, less challenging walks than the Step It Up Further group, are the order of the day.
The meeting place is in front of the Tourist Information Centre in Ballachulish where there is plenty of parking and of course, the mandatory cafe for teas, coffees and a great chat after the walk. We all meet on a Friday morning at 10am and walk to the group’s ability for 30-60mins, depending on those present.
New Walking Group In Thurso
Step It Up Highland are pleased to announce the start up of a regular walk in Thurso, Caithness.
Our first Health Walk is on 14th August 2013
The walks will be held weekly on a Wednesday, between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
We will start and finish at Caithness Horizons, and include “The Bridges” and “Shore-side to Burnside”.
Dr Stuart Findlay and Olivia Sim will be the walk leaders putting you through your paces!
Our walks will allow you to take in some of the best scenery and history which Thurso has to offer.
These walks will range between ½ hr and 1 hour duration, and are a great way to help you get more active whilst still being gentle exercise!
Although the emphasis is on walking, we’d encourage you to bring along your cameras – who knows what you may be lucky enough to capture on film!
Why not join us for a coffee in the cafe afterwards?
For further information about our local Health Walks, please contact Stuart Findlay on T:01847 894627 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thurso Walking Group Launch
The new Thurso walking group had their first walk on 14 August 2013, definitely something to celebrate! We were delighted with the news that 7 members of the public joined Walk Leaders Stuart & Olivia (the two walkers with armbands on), on their premiere outing!
Tain Walking Group Summer Outing
Sent in by Chris Langford 29th July 2013
Last year’s trip to Kyle of Lochalsh in celebration of the queen’s Diamond jubilee was such a success that it was decided to make a summer outing an annual event.
Thus, after having several different options suggested and listed, it was democratically decided – of course! – to go with the venue with the most ticks = Srathspey Steam Railway.
So, on Tuesday 16th July, 20 members of the Tain Group plus three spouses departed from Inverness Railway station for Aviemore. On arrival there was just over an hour to spare, so time for coffee etc before joining the steam train at 12:30
Talk about going back to childhood! The dark maroon livery of the carriages, the smell of soot, station staff in dark uniforms and peaked caps, not to mention the noise of the wheels over the rails in the clickety clack rhythm so fondly remembered.
On arrival at Broomhill (also known as “Glenbogle” from “Monarch of the Glen”), there was an opportunity taken by many passengers for a photo shoot before returning to Boat of Garten where we alighted (a lovely old fashioned word) and split into small groups.
Several had a meal at the hotel adjacent to the station, others went for a stroll in the village and half a dozen went for a walk along a wooded road and subsequent path. We then all rendezvoused back at the hotel for tea/coffee and shortbread.
By this time it was 4:15 so time for the 15 minutes journey back on the train to Aviemore where we had 1½ hours free time. A walk along Aviemore’s busy high street meant time for shopping, eating (fish and chips) in some cases – ice cream in others – just generally doing day trippy things. At least we didn’t get soot on our ice creams, having left the steam train by then!
At 5:45 we all gathered back at the station for our return journey to Inverness – a happy bunch after a lovely day out with ideal weather.
P.S. We chose our date well as the following week the steam engine had to be replaced by a diesel due to the tinder dry grass on the embankments having caught fire.
P.P.S. On 13th August we have our annual cruise! – Our 15 minute ferry trip across to Cromarty followed by our customary walk.
We Are Ready To Step It Up In Wick!
After consultation with the walkers who came to their open evening at The Pultney Centre on 23rd July, SIUH Wick will have their first walk on Tuesday 30th July 2013. The walk will start from the PPP Centre at 6.30pm.
If you are interested, or would like more information contact Gillian Donn on the details below.
Ballachulish Step It Up Highland – 1st Anniversary
The Ballachulish Step It Up Highland walking group celebrated their first anniversary of their organised health walks in April 2013.
Walk leaders Paul and Pauline Selby along with several walkers visited the Jubilee Bridge in Appin, enjoying the excellent spring weather. After the walk, everyone enjoyed a celebratory lunch at the Stalker View café
The walking group is an excellent way of improving your health and wellbeing, getting out and enjoying your local area and meeting new people. The walks are short, starting at 20 minutes duration increasing up to a maximum of 1 hour, and are designed to be enjoyable and beneficial for all the participants.
You don’t need any special equipment; just a good coat and pair of shoes or boots.
If you are a interested in joining the walking group please contact Paul or Pauline Selby on 01855 821030 for further information.