Over 120 women were inspired to take One Small Step and participate in our one day conference at the Mitchell Library on Tuesday 23rd March 2010. Delegates of all ages and backgrounds came from across Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Alloa, Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, Fife and Stirling and participated in our day of talks and workshops aimed at inspiring women to participate in and develop walks in their local area.
During the morning session Adele Patrick and Morag Smith from GWL spoke about how encouraging women to take small steps can lead to giant leaps in health, learning and well-being and Jessica Lindhof of Paths for All talked about the life-changing possibilities for women and women’s groups who decide to take up walking. Lifelong Learning Assistant Laura Dolan launched GWL’s new training DVD (One Small Step) in which two women discover the Women Make History project and start their journeys towards becoming a Tour Guide and a Women’s History Detective. The film, produced by volunteers at GWL, gives an insight into what it means to be a volunteer tour guide. Organisations including Walk Glasgow, Living Steets, Paths for All and Strathclyde Police offered information and advice at the conference marketplace and delegates also had the opportunity to try out GWL’s new Garnethill women’s heritage walk.
The day also featured inspirational workshops, including “Making it Happen” from GP Jenny lim on overcoming the obstacles to walking, Janet Brereton from Seeing Sense on making walks more accessible for women with disabilities and Rosie Wylie, community ranger from Heritage Scotland, on developing themed walks. Women from the Dundee Women’s Trail Group and Wigtown Women’s Walk Group shared their expertise on developing women’s heritage walks and GWL staff also shared their experience and offered advice on developing themed walks, walks for BME women and using walk development as a way of developing women’s literacy skills.
Below are some comments and ideas from delegates:
“I would love to help reconnect women especially pregnant women, with their nature and environment through walking to improve fitness for childbirth…”,
“This workshop has inspired me to not be afraid of change..”
“This workshop has inspired me to talk to my friend…about doing a project with women and literacy and history in South Edinburgh..”
“I liked..meeting new people from different backgrounds and realising we have lots in common..”
“All of this links people to place, to environment, to community, to history and to self. it’s so simple but so revolutionary. Just walk.”
Our sponsors and partners in this event, Paths for All, Mitchell library staff and the many volunteers, facilitators, staff members and delegates all contributed to making this day an inspirational experience for everyone who attended.
GWL’s One Small Step DVD will soon be available for viewing on the Women Make History section of our website. There are also limited copies available for organisations who are working with women’s groups. Workshops on developing walks for women are available across Scotland through GWL’s National Lifelong Learning programme. For more information please contact us.