Voices of the Walk is Paths for All’s everyday walking podcast. Our mission is to get Scotland walking; everyone, everywhere and everyday. In this podcast, we’ll be hearing from a variety of Scotland’s walking champions who are helping make our vision a reality.
Smarter Choices, Smarter Places – supporting active and sustainable travel in local communities
Active and sustainable travel is gaining momentum in line with Scotland’s ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2045. We continue to improve our health, create safer communities, and reduce environmental impacts by supporting more people in Scotland to walk, wheel, and cycle for everyday short journeys, or combine these with public transport for longer trips.
To enable and empower communities to choose change travel habits, we need good infrastructure, coupled with encouragement, support and guidance on how to change attitudes and behaviours around how we travel.
But what is active and sustainable travel? What are the benefits of being active? And how can we, at Paths for All, support Scotland to change travel habits?
In this episode of Voices of the Walk, we’re joined by members of our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places team who share with us how our Open Fund is supporting organisations and community groups across Scotland to design, plan and deliver a wide range of projects to get people walking, wheeling, cycling and using public transport.
In 2022/23 with an uplift in funding and support from Transport Scotland, we’re awarding £5Million to projects which encourage active and sustainable travel in local communities. Our dedicated Smarter Choices, Smarter Places team provide the information, guidance and support to help with your application through our Open Fund, from discussion and design to delivery and evaluation.
We’ll hear from Emma Hutchison (Senior Development Officer) and James Gray (Development Officer) who share with us what active and sustainable travel means, and the incredible benefits communities can enjoy by being active. They’ll also discuss stand out projects supported by our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund.
The Step Count Challenge, counting steps to a happy, healthy workplace
Every year, thousands of people from workplaces across Scotland take part in the Step Count Challenge, an online walking challenge where teams of five record their walking activity over eight weeks, compete on a virtual leader board and hopefully have a bit of fun with their colleagues along the way. The challenge has been running annually for over 10 years and more than 30 billion steps have been recorded in that time.
But, as we’ll hear from our guests, the challenge is more than just a leader board.
In this episode of Voices of the Walk, five participants in this year’s spring Step Count Challenge tell us why they are taking part and what they hope to get from it.
We hear from ACOSVO’s Pat Armstrong, Scotways’ Richard Barron, Paths for All’s Emma Anderson, Parkinson UK’s Lorna Fraser and Joe Hamill from Bells Food Group.
They talk about how walking has helped them connect with their colleagues, provide space to think and clear the head, and challenge themselves to build walking in and around their busy working day.
Expert Lecture Series 2022: The Highlights
In this special episode of Voices of The Walk we revisit the highlights from our Expert Lecture Series for 2022. The lectures were held over three days in February, with each session exploring one of the key themes of our new Step It Up strategy – that walking is for everyone, everywhere and every day.
We were joined by three engaging speakers, well-known for their expertise and fantastic work to empower communities to walk more for physical, mental and social well-being.
Bronwen Thornton, CEO of Walk21, tackled the everywhere theme, exploring how we can make our towns and cities more walkable. Bronwen delivered a summary of the work of Walk21, with global insight on walkability, measurement of walking and translating national strategies into delivery.
Bronwen was followed by Backbone CIC founder and Director Pammy Johal who focussed on inclusion, diversity and equality and how we can take steps to involve everyone in activity. Pammy spoke passionately about her personal experiences and of her groundbreaking work bringing wider access to the outdoors to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups.
Finally, our Expert Lectures closed with Lisa O'Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England, who explored challenging social norms to build physical activity into everyday life. Lisa gave attendees an inspirational insight into the challenges and research behind the impactful This Girl Can campaign.
If you’d like to find out more about events hosted by Paths for All, be sure to visit the ‘What’s On’ section of our website or sign up to our e-news at www.pathsforall.org.uk/subscribe.
Watch Bronwen Thornton's lecture, or to view the presentation, click here.
To view Lisa O'Keefe's presentation, click here.
Walking for health, wellbeing and the environment
In this episode we are joined by Orla and Jeff, who featured in our 2021 Humans of the Walk exhibition. They share their reflections on the huge impact walking has made to their health, work and everyday life.
Our Humans of the Walk exhibition shared life-changing stories and powerful portraits exploring why walking is so important to the people of Scotland and how it can help us live happier, healthier and greener lives.
You can view the full exhibition of portraits in our online Humans of the Walk gallery and share why walking is important to you on social media using #HumansoftheWalk
In this special festive episode, we hear from members of the Paths for All team to hear why walking is so special to them at this time of year.
Listen to the memories that have been made and the moments of peace and quiet that have happened thanks to winter walks.
Building transport services that work for everyone
In this episode, we look at how walking and public transport can be safer, more accessible and more welcoming for people with disabilities, long-term conditions and those with dementia.
Our Senior Development Officer Carl Greenwood and guests Andy Hyde and Hussein Patwa explore what constitutes an inclusive journey, and how design of our transport services can be more inclusive.
Our experts discuss the challenges that face people with disabilities when making journeys, and the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the way we access and experience travel and transport.
We also look at what opportunities COP26 has created around establishing a low-carbon public transport system that works for everyone.
To find out more about Andy or Hussein, or learn more about the issues discussed, check out these useful links:
The Drawing from Experience comic book mentioned in the podcast https://www.upstream.scot/dfe
Nice to see another Scottish walking podcast!
Scotland is ideal for walkers and a podcast like this along with the Walk Fife podcast really help to encourage people to get outside and explore our wonderful countryside - looking forward to listening to more shows!