Suzanne goes the extra mile as Spalding health volunteer

Suzanne Willis has been nominated in the South Holland Health Awards.
Suzanne Willis has been nominated in the South Holland Health Awards.
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Helping others comes second nature to Suzanne Willis, who has been nominated for the volunteer in healthcare award.

Suzanne (52), from Spalding, works three days a week as a welfare benefits adviser with Citizens Advice and one day a week with LCVS (Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service) as a health trainer.

And, for some people, that would be quite enough.

But the person who nominated Suzanne told us: “On her one day off, on a Friday, she organises the health walks around Spalding.”

More specifically those Friday walks take place in Ayscoughfee Gardens with particpants meeting up at the cafe there at 11am.

Suzanne said the health walks started around three years ago and numbers have built up over that time.

These days around 15 or 16 people meet up to enjoy a half-hour walk confined to the gardens, and the exercise is a perfect tonic for those who are not in the best of health or are recovering from illness.

“It’s mainly for people who could not take part in any other forms of exercise,” said Suzanne. “There’s lots of places to sit and rest.”

Suzanne became involved in the walks as a health champion volunteer.

She said: “It’s really good, actually, it’s quite a social group.”

The social side means there’s time for a cuppa at the cafe after the walks.

From time to time, the walkers have visiting guests who can discuss health problems and a representative from The Stroke Association will join them at the end of May.

Suzanne, who is married with two grown up children, is one of four walk leaders in the health walk project.

She says the walks are free and are open to everyone who feels they might benefit.

• The first South Holland Health Promotion Day will be held in Spalding this summer.

This free to the public event will be at the South Holland Centre on Saturday, June 4, from 10am to 4pm and feature a wide range of information stands, stalls and talks from local healthcare providers.

It will also see the presentation ceremony for the first South Holland Health Awards.

The event is being organised by Tonic Health, in association with South Holland District Council, South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian.

Tonic Health director Michael Morris wanted to create an event which would highlight and celebrate the healthcare provision available to people of South Holland.

The area boasts some fantastic opportunities, support and provision, through the NHS, independent agencies and voluntary organisations, but members of the public are still not necessarily aware of what is on their doorstep.

The Health Promotion Day will feature stands supplied by a range of local healthcare groups offering attendees advice, guidance, support and information.

There will be a variety of health experts providing 30-minute talks throughout the day on a wide variety of health-related issues.

The day will culminate in the Health Awards ceremony, which will start at 3pm. There are four categories:

• Young Carer of the Year;

• Volunteer in healthcare;

• Bravery in the face of adversity;

• Services to sport/exercise.

Public nominations for worthy candidates can be made through filling in the form on this page or via email.

A judging panel will decide on a final three for each category before the event, with the winners being announced on the day.

The whole event is free to attend. The function hall will be the home for the stalls and the Health Awards ceremony, with talks being held in the meeting rooms.

For more public information about the day, please visit www.tonic-health.co.uk

If you are an organisation requiring a stand, please 
contact Sam at Tonic Health on sam@tonic-health.co.uk or 01775 725059.

To nominate someone, fill in the form in the Spalding Guardian or Lincolnshire Free Press and send it to HEALTH AWARDS, Free Press and Guardian, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB.

Or email jeremy.ransome@jpress.co.uk with the name of the nominee, the category you are nominating them in and some words explaining why you think they deserve the award.

Please also enter your own name and address.