Inspiring walkers

This award recognises inspirational volunteers, or group of volunteers, who have helped other people to put one foot in front of the other. Whether they are taking their first steps or are a seasoned walker this award recognises that volunteer who encouraged, supported and inspired them to get out and get active.

Read about each nominee.

Walk with me - Bury

Eileen Robinson, Ann Bowes & Brian Marshall are volunteers with the Bury - Walk with Me Walking for Health Scheme. Over the past three years they have collectively delivered over 400 health walks, equating to over 600 volunteer hours, helping to improve the health and wellbeing of over 300 walkers. Over 4,500 attendances have been recorded so far – an outstanding level of participation.

Not only have they been long standing, dedicated volunteer walk leaders to the scheme, but each has played a significant supporting role in helping to mentor and guide new volunteers through their walk leader training, enabling Bury – Walk with Me to grow and expand the walking offer to other communities within the borough. It’s undoubtedly down to the commitment and dedication of Eileen, Ann and Brian that we have been able to establish, grow & develop our Bury scheme to provide more health walks to the people and communities of Bury.

Ray Clayton – Berkshire

Ray Clayton is a central and inspirational member of the Pang Valley Ramblers. In 1998 Ray became the walks coordinator, producing a full programme of Sunday and Wednesday walks. He filled this role on his own until 2015, since when he has shared the task. He often still leads in emergencies, which is made possible by his enthusiasm, memory and knowledge of the paths for 20 miles around Tilehurst. Although not an IT specialist and now aged in his mid-80s, he manages the tricky job of editing and formatting programmes and also dealing with distribution and postage.

Ray's talents and energy made him the obvious person to lead our contributions to national initiatives. He was asked to help with the West Berkshire Council’s initiative to produce maps of local public and urban paths, walking many of the parishes himself. Ray is now coordinating a local Don’t Lose Your Way project that will make sure that historic paths are recorded on the definitive map, the public record of rights of way in the area, before the cut of date on the 1 January 2026. He is a major player in the West Berkshire Ramblers gate installation and rights of way survey project and, until recently, on the ROAR project which engages adults with additional needs to help with footpath clearance. He recently initiated a programme of short walks to attract a new band of walkers. Undoubtedly Ray’s dedication, enthusiasm and passion for walking and the community has meant that many more people can go out and enjoy walking in Berkshire.

John Noblet – Tavistock Ramblers 

Tavistock Ramblers celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its founding in 2016. For nearly half that time John Noblet has served on its Executive Committee in a number of roles, notably as treasurer, co-developer and manager of our excellent walks programme and overseen walk leader training. The annual away-holiday is a key feature of our walks programme and John has been the principal organiser of many of these, helping to promote Rambler values and group cohesion. Tavistock Ramblers, with expanding membership has been very fortunate to have had John at the heart of its management for so long.

John's expertise and talent in both developing and leading walks has been further demonstrated by the two highly successful guide books featuring Dartmoor he has recently written and had published.

He has also set up and managed both the group website and Facebook pages and overseen the printing of all our publicity and walks programme brochures. The latter is considered by Devon area Ramblers to set the standard to which others aspire.

He is only able to do all this, as well as his other charity activities, due to a professional and enthusiastic commitment to what the Ramblers stands for, and an understanding wife! Although John is stepping down from his committee he will continue to support the group in other ways.