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Scottish Walk 'n' Talk 2016, Aberfeldy

Megan Hart | 07.07.2016

Megan Hart was part of the organising committee which even managed to arrange clear blue skies for this year’s weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It raised money for BSA and the Scottish Stammering Network.

For the 9th annual Walk ‘n’ Talk, 21 of us quit towns and cities on both sides of the border to escape to the Scottish countryside.  A mix of people who stammer, partners and Speech and Language Therapists gathered at the Bunkhouse in Aberfeldy where we caught up with old friends and made new ones.

Our Friday night meal, declared ready by John Mann’s ears (“you can hear when it’s ready”…), was followed by socialising and a quiz led by David Lilburn, before most of us retired to our bunks to rest for the morning ahead.

Our top Munro bagger Carolyn Allen had planned a route that allowed us to tick two hills off the list, conquering both Beinn Udlamain and Sgairneach Mhor. The weather was on our side for the walk as the warm sun and clear skies allowed us to take in the stunning views, and we even managed to see Ben Lomond in the distance. Our descent from the hills added an unexpected adrenaline rush to the day by getting us to live life on the edge…of a hill.  With the support and encouragement from everyone in the group we all made it back to the hostel safe and sound where Fiona and Carolyn had been preparing a well-cooked BBQ.

A couple of our walkers showed real determination as we started off on our walk, and although they were unable to make it to the top, with the support from the group they challenged themselves to step out of their comfort zone.  Two of our party took an alternative walk around the Aberfeldy area, taking in the Birks of Aberfeldy and covered a flatter route.

Back at the ranch

Group walking up mountainOn Saturday night we made our way to a local pub to chat over the day’s events and celebrate our achievements. After a long day the sensible members of the group headed off to bed whilst some stayed up to watch daylight return.

As we packed up on Sunday the organising committee presented certificates to everyone, along with a memory we had of them from the weekend.  We returned to the pub for a final meal together before saying our goodbyes and returning home.

As organisers we felt the weekend was a brilliant example of laughter, adventure and support and all those who came along added to the great atmosphere, which allowed people to relax. As one participant expressed it: “It is very liberating being able to talk without constantly monitoring and controlling my speech”.

We felt the weekend was a brilliant example of laughter, adventure and support

Group on top of stoney mountainAnother participant commented “The Walk ‘n’ Talk was an opportunity to go out walking in one of the most scenic parts of the country, and meet and talk with new people – as well as catching up with some familiar faces as well. The camaraderie and general positivity contributed to a memorable weekend”.

We would like to thank everyone who came along and participated in the weekend and thanks to those who raised sponsor money to support the work of the BSA and Scottish Stammering Network. We are are looking forward to next year already!