Older people in North Lanarkshire can benefit from staying active and connected to their community now that a new path and gate has been installed. 

National walking charity, Living Streets Scotland partnered up with North Lanarkshire Council and national housing provider, Trust Housing to improve the local area after residents at their Dunrobin Gardens accommodation were finding it impossible to make everyday journeys on foot.

Residents and representatives from the charity were joined by Alex Neil MSP and Neil Gray MP for the official unveiling of the path (Friday 22 March). 

It’s part of the Walking Connects project run by Living Streets Scotland which helps to improve streets so that people can stay active and connected to their community in later life. This comes at a time when the most recent statistics (ONS) suggest that 1.4 million older people are lonely, with Age UK predicting that this will rise to 2 million within seven years.

Dunrobin path opening

Anne Docherty from Living Streets Scotland worked with Trust Housing to carry out a community street audit, giving residents the opportunity to have their say on their local streets and identify any barriers preventing them from walking more. Living Streets Scotland then worked with the North Lanarkshire Council, Trust Housing and the residents at Dunrobin Gardens to make improvements.

Living Streets Scotland is part of the UK charity for everyday walking which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

Anne Docherty, Project Coordinator, Living Streets Scotland said:

“People over 50 are more likely to be lonely if they are widowed, in poor health, or feel like they aren’t part of their local community. By ensuring our streets are accessible, we can encourage and enable older people to walk more – helping them stay part of their local community and connect with their neighbours, all while getting some exercise.

Improvements like this go to the heart of everything Living Streets has been about for 90 years. A seemingly small act like installing a path can make such a huge difference to people’s health and happiness, ensuring they can stay active, social and engaged with their local community.

Anne Docherty, Living Streets Scotland

Margaret McSeveney, Sheltered Housing Coordinator, Dunrobin Gardens said: 

“A walk down a busy road and a treacherous hill was previously required if our residents wanted to do something as simple as pop to the shops or the local community centre. This was too intimidating for many of our residents - and too far altogether for some - which left many of them uncomfortable to get out and enjoy the local area. 

“After a lot of hard work from partners and residents, I’m thrilled this is no longer the case. The gate and the spur path linking up to the main path means our residents have been given a new lease of freedom.”

Alex Neil MSP for Airdrie & Shotts, Scottish National Party said: 

“I am delighted to be invited to the official unveiling of this new path and gate for the residents at Dunrobin Gardens. Paths such as this one makes it possible for older people to connect with their local community and stay active. 

“The new path is long overdue, and I am looking forward to seeing the residents make good use of it. This project would not have been possible without the work of Living Streets. A great charity that sets out to promote and protect the rights of people walking, all over Scotland.”