Volunteers walking tall after being recognised with awards

Published: 17 Dec 2019

Two Hertfordshire Health Walk volunteers have won special recognition awards at the Hertfordshire Sports Partnership’s Service to Sport Awards.


Recognition was given to Sylvia Barrows and Claire Norton for their dedication and hard work to promote Hertfordshire Health Walks (HHWs).


Sylvia is one of HHW’s committed volunteer leaders in Bishop’s Stortford, leading and organising walks both at Castle Park and in Thorley.


She has also played an important role in linking up with the local MIND outreach group to offer additional supportive Health Walks, with her “cheerful, encouraging and friendly demeanour” putting fellow walkers at ease. Sylvia’s friendly presence, along with the support of the other Bishop's Stortford volunteers, has led to the development and growing success of the Castle Park Health Walks.


Claire Norton received special recognition for actively starting new walks, as well as her unstinting ongoing promotion of HHWs. Claire trained to be a Health Walk Leader in 2015 and has since been an “inspiring and energetic Health Walk Leader”.


In addition to leading walks she has proactively identified and tested new walk routes, enhancing the experience for participants, identified opportunities to promote HHWs and has been an active ambassador for HHWs at events.


Councillor Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “Huge congratulations to Sylvia and Claire for being recognised as fantastic ambassadors for our increasingly successful Health Walks.


“Thanks to their promotion, hard work and inspiring examples, our Health Walks are growing in popularity and we now run approximately 70 short walks a week across the county, led by more than 300 trained volunteers and involving well over 70,000 participations per year.”


Hertfordshire Health Walks are free, sociable and graded, catering for a wide range of people and varying levels of fitness, from 20 – 30 minute ‘First Steps’ walks through to longer 90-minute walks.