Residents and team members at The Potteries and Ferndown Manor played their part in a nationwide fundraising drive last week as part of Care UK’s pledge to raise thousands of pounds for three important charities through an initiative called Ride 800.
Andrew Knight, chief executive of residential care, Jacqui White, marketing director, and Tony Weedon, strategic programme director, are visiting 26 home as part of a gruelling 800-mile challenge.
The Potteries was the starting point for the 800-mile challenge and Ferndown Manor, on Golf Links Road in Ferndown, was the second stop.
The team of three directors are spending 15 days cycling from Poole to Aberdeen – the locations of Care UK’s most southerly and northerly homes to raise money for the Care Workers Charity, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland.
The two care home teams put on a warm welcome for the intrepid cyclists with a hearty breakfastof healthy and nutritious food by chef Sarah at The Potteries, followed by a lunch rich in proteins and slow release energy created by chefs Jake and Stephen at Ferndown Manor.
They were also able to share details of their own fundraising ventures which will be added to the overall total. These included a static bike ride and cake sale.
As well as hosting a celebratory event for the Ride 800 team and the fundraising venture, residents at the homes have also decorated an old bicycle.to provide a traditional elite cycling welcome for the riders. The one at The Potteries has a hot air balloon theme with a handmade pom poms & characters of themselves sitting in the hot air balloon made by the residents. The Ferndown Manor cycle had been turned into one of the iconic planes used by the Red Arrow aerial display team. In addition, Matt Cooper, Jo Bridges, Steve Kempton, Shelley Whatley and Helen Gardener, team members from the homes, joined the three directors on one of the ride stages from the home alongside Steph Allen from Care UK’s central support office.
Residents who wanted to relive old cycling memories were also given a chance to have a go on the supported cycle which is being transported around all of the 26 homes in the support vehicle that goes with the riders.
Once the gruelling 800-mile ride is over, the directors will present the supported cycle to the home that they think did the best themed decorated bike. 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 homes.
Commenting on the residents’ involvement in Care UK’s Ride 800 initiative, Victoria O’Hara, regional director at Care UK 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.”
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 is becoming very real, 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.”
If anyone would like to sponsor the Care UK Ride 800 team, they can go to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CareUKRide800
The team has been publishing a regular blog as they undertake the ride – this is available via: https://www.careuk.com/care-homes/blog/ride800