Pharmacy walking group coordinator recognised

Golden Shoe

A NSW dispensary technician has been awarded a Heart Foundation Golden Shoe Award for the walking group organised by her pharmacy

Cathy Diamonds, who has been at the Shoal Bay Pharmacy for four years, was named NSW Local Co-ordinator at the awards, which are run by the Heart Foundation.

Diamonds told AJP that the walking group is helping locals forge social connections as well as improve their fitness.

“We first looked at coordinating our own health program through the pharmacy, and I suggested we maybe look at sorting out a walking group,” Diamonds says.

Her colleague found out about the Heart Foundation’s walking groups program, and the pharmacy began the group.

“We currently have more than 60 people registered, and we’ve raised around $700 in a year just from the voluntary gold coin donations,” Diamonds told the AJP. “That goes straight to the Heart Foundation.

“I think that being in a group makes it easier to motivate people to get up and get walking.

“And it’s a good start – I think a lot of people don’t realise that just the slightest bit of exercise helps.

“The walkers also feel a bit accountable to me. I’ve had a phone call from one lady in the group saying she was sorry she hadn’t been there lately and telling me she’d be back.”

A core group of about 15 walkers go regularly and have begun catching up for a coffee and building friendships after the walking sessions, Diamonds says. Walks take place twice a week: Tuesdays and Fridays.

“The social side is really growing, and that’s really positive too.”

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