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Blog: “I really wanted to start giving back and helping others.”

Get Out Get Active in Bassetlaw are creating multiple walk and talk groups to bring disabled and non-disabled people together to improve their physical and mental health.

After the success of the local Men’s Walk and Talk group, Get Out Get Active Bassetlaw has expanded its range of inclusive sessions, including its Stay Pawsitive walks. The centre continues to offer walks for men, women and dog owners to this day, and helps participants make new friends and boost their wellbeing.

Paul Startin stood posing for picture.

We caught up with Paul from Bassetlaw Action Centre’s Stay Pawsitive walks to see how GOGA is continuing to help people in the local community. 

“I joined Bassetlaw Action Centre’s Stay Pawsitive walks after the Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) hospital discharge team referred me to the GOGA programme. I’d been in hospital for a short stay as I was struggling with diabetes, as well as depression and anxiety. 

It’s been hard to manage my depression and anxiety since then. I have been trying to keep my diabetes under control but it’s difficult to do so when I am in such a low place. 

Getting involved with GOGA and the Stay Pawsitive walks has not only helped me with my blood sugars, but it’s also played a huge part in boosting my mental wellbeing. 

Bassetlaw Action Centre has given me lots of helpful new contacts; I use the community car scheme to get to the wellbeing walks, as well as my medical appointments. I also take advantage of the befriending scheme, as I lost most of my friends after my divorce.

As Bassetlaw Action Centre have given me every resource that I’ve needed, I really wanted to start giving back and helping others too.

Pawsitive Walks and Talks have now launched a dog walking group, which is open to anybody. Sessions take place every Tuesday, and we invite as many people as possible to come along and have a chat. You don’t need to bring a dog to attend though – you can just turn up and connect with others in the community.

I love being able to organise and lead these group sessions, and offer others what they have offered me. 

I believe the GOGA team has been instrumental in creating a group like this. The support gives us the opportunity to offer a wider range of activities that help people mentally and physically.

I am really excited to see the Stay Pawsitive walks go from strength to strength. If this group manages to help just one person, it’s worth it.”

This blog is part of our campaign, #TheGOGAWay. Showing how the GOGA approach can help organisations do things differently across the UK.

About Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.