Living Streets’ Charles Maher Award - Walking Champion 2019 recognises an individual, Local Group or organisation that has campaigned to get more people walking in their area.
Nominations are now closed. The award will be presented at our National Walking Summit in Birmingham on 29 March 2019.
The 2018 Charles Maher Award was won posthumously by Edinburgh architect and campaigner, Alison Blamire.
Alison led the Causey Development Trust, a grassroots campaign that sought to reimagine a neglected, car-dominated cityscape and turn it into a vibrant, people-friendly place that celebrates the history and spirit of the Southside of Edinburgh.
Below we share just part of the wonderful testimony to Alison's work from one of her fellow campaigners, Isobel Leckie.
"We are inspired to match Alison's powerful example."
Ten years ago, Alison’s vision for an ill-used, rundown, vehicle-dominated street saw it transformed for four days into a gorgeous, award-winning tropical island, complete with real grass, palm trees and flowers was certainly creative and innovative.
People who visited the street or just happened to walk by were invited to write their hopes for the street on an Ideas Tree.
The positive response was the springboard for all CDT future activity to create a street for people. Alison’s innate creativity informed all the Trust’s publications, activities and events. Ideas Workshops for local people were carefully curated to engage different groups.
She commissioned an artist to create public art for The Causey and set up free public workshops with him. She insisted that professionally made films and photographs of the workshops and public exhibitions are available on The Causey website so that other groups could access them.
CDT is inspired to match Alison’s powerful example.
The Charles Maher Award was created by Living Streets to commemorate long-standing member and campaigner Charles Maher who left a significant legacy to the charity.
The 2017 award went to Morag Rose of the Loiterers' Resistance Movement in Manchester.
There was also a commendation for the Walking For Health team from Wincanton.
You can view their acceptance speeches here.
On 29 March come to Birmingham and join thought leaders, stakeholders, decision makers, Local Groups and campaigners to discuss how towns and cities across the UK are improving people’s lives by prioritising walking.