By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
DONNA Storace has led the Casey ARC All Abilities Walking Group for six years now, and she loves every minute of it.
Donna responded to a call for volunteers when the initiative first started, organised by Casey Arc to encourage both able-bodied and disabled people to participate in regular exercise.
“I was one of the leaders when it first began six years ago, and now I’m basically the one running it,” Donna said.
“I had just had my second child and I was flicking through the newspaper and I saw an ad for volunteers, so I rang and inquired.”
Every Thursday morning Donna leads the All Abilities group on a four-kilometre walk from the Casey ARC facilities and back.
“When we first started we weren’t very fit but now they’re all so much fitter,” Donna said.
For a mum looking after a newborn, the walking group offered Donna a reprieve from a busy household and an opportunity to stretch her legs and breathe in the fresh air.
Drawing on her own experience, Donna encouraged new mothers to join the group.
“I used to take Bailey in the pram. He used to accompany me until he was a toddler, then he wasn’t in the pram anymore,” Donna said.
“Bailey loved it, and he learned to embrace people with different attributes.”
The walking group consists of 10 to 15 members, many of whom have been involved since the initiative began, as well as several volunteers who take time out of their day to accompany them.
Donna and the other volunteers try and vary the program when they can – last month the walking group travelled to Westfield Fountain Gate to meet Santa Claus.
“I love it, I love walking with these guys,” Donna said.
“If anyone wants to join up they should come down and see why it’s so much fun.”
For more information about the walking group, contact Casey ARC on 9705 5000.