A WOMAN who has spent years creating and leading health walks around Stirling has picked up a prestigious award for her work.

Alison Archibald, a retired teacher from Bridge of Allan, has been a volunteer walk leader with Active Stirling since 2006.

And on Tuesday, September 10, she was named Health Walk Leader of the Year by Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All, at its annual Volunteer Awards at the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking after the result, Alison said: “This award is a great honour, and it means a lot to me that I have been doing this in my own village.

“It’s also an honour for my husband, George, who has supported me throughout.

“I always feel very cheerful going to meet my walkers.

“I feel what I do gives people the opportunity to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do, or to do something they’d be too daunted to do on their own.

“We now have a dedicated and faithful group who walk every week.”

Alison currently takes part in three organised weekly walks, and last year she was instrumental in establishing a new health walk from Strathallan Court - a retirement housing complex.

The walk is open to Strathallan Court tenants and people who live locally.

Ian Findlay CBE, chief officer at Paths for All, spoke highly of the impact Alison’s work has had.

He said: “Getting outside and going for a walk is so valuable for our own personal health and for the health of our planet, so it’s very important to take the time to thank volunteers like Alison.

“[Her] selfless efforts are making a huge difference to the lives of others around her.”

Paths for All works with the Scottish Government and partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives.

The charity awards thousands of pounds worth of grants to worthwhile projects that improve health, promote walking and improve environments for people to be active in.