An imaginative, community-based scheme involving older walking groups and local youngsters has won the backing of Aberdeenshire Council, who are funding the exercise in a bid to promote inter-generational work in the area.
Grampian 50+ Network, a registered Scottish charity, is composed of groups in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray who enjoy the outdoors, and in particular walking.
Marjory D’Arcy, chairperson of the Grampian 50 + Network, said: “We are delighted to participate in what should be a good example of community participation, involving our own walking groups and young folk from the area.
“The idea is that youngsters will come on a walk, and talk with our members before going on to write up their experiences, which will then be written up for circulation to local newspapers.”
The project will be headed up by Jack Nixon, a local writer whose experience of the industry, allied to his background of previously working in the community, is seen to be of great value by Mrs D’Arcy and her committee of volunteers.
She said: “We are lucky to have acquired the services of Mr Nixon, who is not only a local columnist, but has worked with all age groups in his time as a community worker in Edinburgh and, more particularly, the North-east.”
Mr Nixon said: “I may a bit long in the tooth to be taking on new challenges, but this is one that really excites me, especially as I believe the product is a good one.
“I have been most impressed by all I have heard and seen of the Network.
“Bringing together the two age groups is a great initiative.”
The project is set to run from this month to March 31 by which time some of the budding journalists in and around Aberdeenshire will have penned stories about walking and talking in their local community.
Although the scheme is aimed at Aberdeenshire schools, Mr Nixon welcomed responses from youth groups who might be interested. Mr Nixon, who also invited participation from local schools, said: “It is a perfect vehicle for any youngster wishing to write up a project. I would be happy to hear from any youth organisation, or from an individual.
“I am in touch with officials from the Shire, but that should not deter any school from making direct contact.”
Further information about the scheme can be obtained by emailing Mr Nixon at Jacksport@btinternet.com or calling him on (01358) 721389 or 07879 648 953.