I stole the name Helix Connect from my buggy walk leader Shona Blackhall. She thought it would be a good name for the buggy group as it connects new mums. (After a poll the girls decided on Helix Hotties instead.)
At the same time I had identified a need for a walking group that showcased all the fantastic pathways into the heart of the Helix and our Kelpies. People don’t realise when they visit the Kelpies and lagoon that there are miles of paths which connect all areas of Falkirk to the park.
Our Nordic walking group also use all the paths so we knew people liked finding new places to walk.
Enter Ian Graham, a fantastic walk leader who is full of fun and loves walking. He loved the Helix Connect idea. I was a bit concerned that it would put slower walkers off but Ian assured me that everyone would be well looked after.
Ian brought along his friend Mike McMenemy who soon also became a walk leader with the group, together they have made Helix Connect a success.
The group meet every week and friendships have been made, they got on so well that Ian approached me with a new plan. “Can I take the group away once a month at the weekend; it will just be a group of friends meeting up?"
The group have been to Aviemore, Dunkeld, Pitlochry and lots more. They enjoy each other's company and have fun. The group age from 40 to 80!
The group now plan a walk on Barra and have booked their plane tickets, only problem…not enough seats!
Another of our walk leaders Jean Barr has made the group a Kelpies mascot, and the group take a selfie with a Kelpie wherever they go. When one of the walkers goes on holiday Kelpie goes too and a picture is posted on the Helix Connect facebook page which is run by one of the walkers!
It never ceases to amaze me that something as simple as a wee walk can make such a difference to peoples lives.
Helix Connect….. connecting people.