Falkirk Active Travel Hub has won an award from walking charity Paths for All.
The group, formed in 2018 as part of the Healthier Greener Falkirk Project ran by Falkirk Council and Forth Environment Link, scooped the title of Active Travel Project of the Year at Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All’s annual Volunteer Awards, held at the Scottish Parliament.
Project co-ordinator Ray Burr and his dedicated team of volunteers were recognised for creating strong partnerships and reaching wider audiences to bring about a significant shift towards sustainable travel.
The Hub team were also recognised for their involvement in launching Scotland’s largest electric bike scheme at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, the UK’s first cross regional e-bike scheme connecting three council areas (Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire) with 120 e-bikes for hire.
Falkirk Active Travel Hub also recently helped start an initiative at Lornshill Academy in Alloa to encourage staff and pupils to walk and cycle to school through cycling training and maintenance sessions and organising a school-wide step count challenge.
Ray said: “We aim to make cycling more accessible for everyone, making it more enjoyable and sociable for those who already cycle and support those who are just getting on the saddle.”
The group now also runs a fortnightly bike ride from the hub on Falkirk High Street to the Kelpies or the Falkirk Wheel.
There are now seven volunteers enrolled on the Falkirk Active Travel Group, who are
committed to helping people improve their physical, mental and social health.
Ray added: “It’s fantastic to see how our work is changing people’s everyday travel habits and it’s extremely rewarding to see those who were nervous about cycling really take to it with our support.
“Our volunteers work tirelessly to invest their time and hard work into this project for the community, so it’s really rewarding for our group to be recognised for this award. Winning this award just shows how much potential projects like this have.”
Ian Findlay CBE, chief officer at Paths for All, said: “Getting outside and going for a walk or travelling sustainably is so valuable for our personal health and for the health of our planet, so it’s very important to take the time to thank people like volunteers from Falkirk Active Travel Hub, whose selfless efforts are making a huge difference to the lives of others around her.
“It’s inspiring to think that, collectively, these volunteers who are invested in making walking and cycling a bigger part of daily life are helping to incite important behavioural change.”