A HUNTLY man has been named as volunteer of the year by a group which aims to promote active travel through cycling or walking.
Dave Simpson, who is the green travel hub co-ordinator at Huntly and District Development Trust received the Sustrans iBike Volunteer of the Year award for Aberdeenshire in the projects category.
A keen cyclist, Dave has volunteered with Sustrans for just over a year and became involved because he wanted to do something different that would encourage and inspire people to cycle.
He regularly volunteers on led bike rides, taking Gordon Schools first and second-year pupils to the Bin Forest on bikes for field lessons in science and geography.
Before the outdoor lessons are delivered, he helps to teach pupils bike skills to give them the confidence to tackle the challenging terrain. He also ensures bikes at The Gordon Schools are maintained.
Dave has led holiday bike rides and bike maintenance classes in conjunction with Networks of Wellbeing, NoW, The Gordon Schools and Sustrans.
Dave said: "The best part of volunteering with Sustrans is to help the next generation get cycling, improve their confidence and get outdoors. It gives me a great sense of achievement to watch kids who began the bike sessions with little confidence on their bikes after a couple of hours.
"I've met so many new friends and it has also given me a lot of confidence and helped me recover both physically and mentally from two life changing events. I'm really humbled and lost for words to receive this award and to anyone thinking of volunteering with Sustrans, I'd say go for it."
Dave was nominated by the Aberdeenshire iBike officer Phil Thornley. He is due to receive a certificate to mark the award later this month. Sustrans works closely with communities, the Scottish Government, local authorities and other partners to ensure that the people of Scotland have access to a network of safe walking and cycling routes.
It also aims to make Scotland a healthy, happy place to live, work and play, and a beautiful tourist destination.