The winner of Living Streets' Charles Maher Award - Walking Champion 2021 is Councillor Mustafa Desai from Lancashire!

The Blackburn with Darwen councillor was nominated for setting up the Take A Hike programme, which uses walking to tackle physical and mental health challenges, while promoting inclusion for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women and enabling people to connect with the great outdoors.

Cllr Desai said:

"I’m delighted that the walking group is getting this national recognition with the Charles Maher Award from Living Streets. It’s great that something so positive has come from the awful circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. Being part of this group has been fantastic for the wellbeing of all its members and I recommend the activity to all as a simple but effective way to improve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing."

Named to commemorate long-standing member and campaigner Charles Maher who left a significant legacy to the charity, our annual award recognises an individual, Local Group or organisation that has campaigned to get more people walking in their area.

News: Councillor named Living Streets’ national walking hero

Mustafa Desai

Last year's winner: Pauline Johnston

Pauline Johnston wins the 2020 award

The winner of the 2020 Charles Maher Award was Pauline Johnston of Levenshulme in Manchester.

Pauline was recognised for her involvement in helping Levenshulme develop the first community led ‘Filtered Neighbourhood’ for the Bee Network, Cycling and Walking Commissioner Chris Boardman’s active travel plan for Greater Manchester. 

Read more here.


Pauline in action