A charity trio has completed an 800-mile bike ride from Poole to Aberdeen, and raised £21,000 for three important charities for an initiative called Ride 800.
Arriving at Tor-Na-Dee, Andrew Knight, chief executive of residential care, Jacqui White, marketing director, and Tony Weedon, strategic programme director from Care UK, were cheered by residents and team members as they crossed the finish line.
The intrepid cyclists visited 26 homes, over 15 days, as part of a gruelling 800-mile challenge, starting at the location of Care UK’s most southerly home and finishing at the most northerly home – Tor-Na-Dee – to raise money for the Care Workers Charity, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland.
Before crossing the finishing line, and enjoying a UK-shaped cake – which mapped their route across England and Scotland, the Care UK team also visited Mowat Court which was the penultimate stop.
Thanks to the combined effort of the care home teams and the riders, over £21,000 has been raised, smashing the original £15,000 target.
As well as hosting a celebratory event for the Ride 800 team, residents at the homes along the route also decorated bicycles to provide a fun cycling welcome for the riders.
Mowat Court’s bike was adorned with old pictures of residents cycling in younger years, while Tor-Na-Dee decorated two bikes with flags and flowers. In addition, Dawn Lees from neighbouring care home Wellmeadow Lodge joined the three directors on one of the ride stages from the home.
Residents who wanted to relive old cycling memories were also given a chance to have a go on the supported cycle. The supported cycle allows two people to cycle side by side with only one rider having to pedal. It proved a very popular mode of transport while it was at the home.
Now the 800-mile ride is over, the directors will present the supported cycle to the home that they think did the most creative decorated bike.
Commenting on the residents’ involvement in Care UK’s Ride 800 initiative, Maureen Barrett, home manager at Tor-Na-Dee, said: “Residents and colleagues at the homes have always been enthusiastic supporters of good causes, so when we learnt that we could help Care UK raise a five-figure sum for these three important charities, we jumped at the chance. It was great to be able to tell our directors first-hand how much we’ve raised, and we were proud to host their visit and celebrate as they crossed the finishing line.”
Andrew Knight said: “Even though all three of us have been putting in the training hours, I think it’s fair to say that the reality of such a challenge became very real very quickly, and it’s been a true test of our endurance both mentally and physically. A big motivating factor has been the inspiring efforts of the homes we are visiting and their creativity and energies in planning special fund-raising events and activities. Residents and our colleagues are well known for their warm and friendly welcomes which has been key to keeping our motivation levels high and I’d like to say thank you to everyone in the 26 homes, and our Colchester support office, for joining in with our fundraising so enthusiastically.”