Groups attend 28th Ramblers’ Rendezvous

Around 400 older people from Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray gathered in Inverurie this week to celebrate the 28th Ramblers’ Rendezvous.

Over 40 volunteer organisers and leaders from the Network Committee and 50+ Walking Groups from Inverurie co-ordinated two days of activites on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August.

Groups at the Ramblers Rendezvous warm-up for the day ahead with a Tai Chi session

Groups at the Ramblers Rendezvous warm-up for the day ahead with a Tai Chi session

George Howie, Principal Health Improvement Officer for Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership and councillor Gillian Owen, kicked-off proceedings with an opening speech.

The activites got off to a start on Tuesday morning with a calming Tai Chi warm-up session.

Activities running over the two days included walks, Town Treasure Trail visits, crafts including Zentangle, Sashiko, Paint, Sugar Craft, Mosaic Tiling, Pottery, Tai Chi, cooking, Chapel Chimes, Line Dancing, Ten Pin Bowling, Digital Memories and Highland Hussle.

Groups attended from Aberdeen, Aboyne, Kintore, Peterhead, Methlick, Insch, Ballater, Alford, Mintlaw, Turriff, Portlethen, Oldmeldrum, Newtonhill, Westhill, Elgin, Ellon, Millbank, Laurencekirk, Fraserburgh, Stonehaven, Kemnay, Newmachar. Fochabers and Keith.

Speaking on the day, George Howie said: "It is good to see so many people come along and I would like to congratulate the committee for organising an excellent programme, there has been a lot of thought put into this and it really is a first class programme.

"Events like this provide the opportunity for people to connect with old friends and the chance to make new friends."

He added: "The Grampian 50+ Network have a very impressive track record of over 20 years of work in communities across Aberdeenshire, and one of their great strengths is being able to provide various opportunities like this to members throughout the year."

Gillian Owen said: "It is great to see so many people support the event.

"Heath and well-being benefits of getting out and about is huge and events like this help to ensure that older people can do this."

Grampian 50+ Network chair, Marjory D'Arcy, added: "The groups have all come to have some fun, meet other people and some have even met up with long-lost friends.

"The Rendezvous event is good fun and we get the same people coming back each year so we must be doing something right!"

The first Rendezvous took place in Leith Hall in 1990 and was organised by Grampian Regional Council staff, and is now run by the Grampian 50+ Network which was established in 1998.

The Network has 65 groups and a membership of 1,500 throughout the region.

It is a registered charity run entirely by Older Volunteers and organises a number of events and training during the year, including the “Ramblers’ Rendezvous” - an annual event for Older People’s Walking Groups.

The event has taken place in a different location in Aberdeenshire, Moray or Aberdeen City every year since.

The event is held over two days to cope with demand.

The programme of outdoor and indoor activities changes each year depending on what the area offers.