Margot and Thomas are Stepping Out

A woman and young man, seated outdoors with a dog 

Margot and her son Thomas, joined the Stepping Out Carers’ Walks in Kent for the first time this year. Stepping Out offers free, sociable walks for carers and the people they care for, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, make friends and have a break.

Usually Thomas, who dances with the renowned In Step modern dance troupe in Hythe, enjoys his activity a little more live-wire, but this was more for me. The opportunity to meet other people somewhere lovely and relaxed.

Our first Stepping Out walk was through the bluebell woods of Hole Park near Tenterden in April, and we’ve been coming back ever since. Thomas even performed an impromptu dance to huge applause for the audience at the lunch to celebrate the final Kent walk of the year in Canterbury.

I think it’s great, people getting together to go for a walk, instead of sitting in front of the TV or just doing nothing. Meeting all those new people at once was a bit ‘WOWWW’ for Thomas. He’s used to going out with just me and the dog, but he’ll get used to it in time. It allowed me the chance to take photographs - something I love to do as a hobby.

As with everything with my little man, you just sow the seed and then wait for it to grow.

A young man sitting with a statue on a bench 

I remember the first time I took him dancing. He hung at the back and didn’t want to join in, but now he’s the life and soul of the dance floor. He joined one group called Confidence, for people with special needs, and was even headhunted for a mainstream dance group because he’s so good. I don’t know where he gets it from, I dance like a penguin. Sometimes he says he doesn’t want to go to dance, but being his mum, I tell him that you can’t let people down and once the curtain goes up, he’s there.

Thomas tells me "When I’m dancing, I forget all the horrible things". It’s a therapy. I’m so glad we found it.

A large group of people outdoors, smiling and waving

We’ll come back on more Stepping Out walks. It’s a pleasure for me. I’m a full-time carer so when I can I like to immerse myself in a book, get lost in a piece of elaborate colourful cross-stitch, or disappear off with my camera. I seem to have an eye that sees totally different things to other people. I like to take pictures of things that just capture a moment, something on its own and unique in its own way. Like people.

Guest Ramblers blog by Margot.

 

Stepping Out is delivered by Ramblers volunteers and carer support organisations, and funded by Sport England.

Find out more about Stepping Out and how you can get involved.