Residents and team members at Larkland House 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. They 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 Scotland.
The care home team put on a warm welcome for the intrepid cyclists with hearty refreshments. They were also able to share details of their own fundraising ventures which will be added to the overall total. These included raffles and a tea party. So far, thanks to the combined effort of the homes and the riders, over £19,000 has been raised, smashing the original £15,000 target.
As well as hosting a celebratory event for the Ride 800 team and the fundraising venture, residents at the home have also decorated an old bicycle with an Ascot-themed flower display, to provide a traditional elite cycling welcome for the riders. In addition, Maggie Candy, home manager at Larkland House, joined the three directors to cycle 7.2 miles 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 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 created 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, Maggie Candy, home manager at Larkland House, said: “It’s not every day that your care home residents get a visit from three directors who arrive on cycles dressed head to toe in lycra! We had a wonderful time talking to them and reliving our own memories of cycling. I’d like to wish Jacqui, Tony and Andrew the very best for the rest of their epic journey.”
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.”