Health walkers

Dedicated pair, Lillian and Kevin Nichols, have clocked up over 20 years of volunteering between them.

The retired couple from Darwen currently volunteer by leading the Council's re:fresh health walks.

The walks are for people of all abilities and vary from a light stroll for new mums to a two hour moderate paced walk.

Kevin, 70, first got involved around 12 years ago when he suffered a heart attack and was told by his doctor that he needed to do more exercise.

The grandfather of five joined the health walks that were being run in the borough, which he now volunteers to lead.

"I thought it would be a bit daunting walking by myself so the idea of walking in a group was a lot better," he said.

"It turned out to be brilliant for me and I went from strength to strength. So when I was asked to volunteer I thought it would be great to try and give something back."

He added: "I'm never put off coming because of the weather or I don't  feel like it because it's just like meeting up with friends.

"It's like a social event really."

After retiring from her job as a school cook Lillian decided to join Kevin and they now both volunteer more than three days a week.

As well as volunteering for the borough's Healthy Communities Partnership and Kevin also leads cycling sessions from Witton Park. 

"It's not a chore because it's something we enjoy doing," said Lillian, 68.

Kevin added: "We also get a lot out of it. It's especially nice to see someone's health improve or come out of their shell and be more social."

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