TWO long-serving volunteers who have helped dozens of people improve their fitness have been rewarded for their efforts.

John Lindley and Molly Faux have led weekly health walks from the Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe for a decade.

Each year, they give up more than 300 hours of their time for free.

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Keen to thank the pair for their efforts, Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) staff, fellow volunteers and members of the walking group threw a surprise party with cake and presents.

Mr Lindley, who took early retirement following a back injury, said: “Volunteering for PCP gives me a purpose. If I hadn’t been involved for the past 10 years my health problems would have gotten worse.

“I would have become bored, depressed and unfit.

“I now feel like a young lad, my health has improved through being physically, socially and mentally active.”

Ms Faux added:”I’m just giving back what PCP has given me, I wanted to meet new people and now I have made some lovely friends.

"The walking group is full of people of all ages and walks of life, some are widowed, some have health problems and others just like the chatter.”

The free health walk takes place every Thursday from 10.30am to 11.30am.

For more information about volunteering for PCP contact 01325-321234 or