Residents and team members at care homes in Tyne & Wear played their part in a nationwide fundraising drive 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, visited 26 homes as part of an 800-mile challenge.
Armstrong House, on Lobley Hill Road in Gateshead, was the 22nd stop for the 800-mile challenge and Ponteland Manor, on Thornhill Road in Ponteland, was the 23rd stop.
The team of three directors spent 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 two care home teams put on a warm welcome for the intrepid cyclists, who were welcomed by residents, relatives, volunteers and the care team. The trio arrived to a delicious selectionof fruit and high-energy foods courtesy of Armstrong House’s chef, followed by a celebratory cake at Ponteland Manor. Residents at the home also decorated bicycles with Care UK colours, flowers, positive quotes, and knitted crafts.
Residents who wanted to relive old cycling memories were also given a chance to have a go on the supported cycle was taken to all 26 homes. The supported cycle allows two people to cycle side by side with only one rider having to pedal, and has proved very popular at all homes along the journey.
Once the 800-mile ride is over, the directors will present the supported cycle to the home that they think created the best themed decorated bike.
Commenting on the residents’ involvement in Care UK’s Ride 800 initiative, home manager at Armstrong House, Shirley Summerbell, said: “Residents and colleagues 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. We were really proud to host our directors visit.”
Paula Routledge, home manager at Ponteland Manor, added: “Many of the residents who live here have been quite involved in fundraising earlier in their life so they have enjoyed helping to raise money for the three good causes. And we had great fun decorating the bike which was much admired by Jacqui, Andrew and Tony”
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 have been key to keeping our motivation levels high, and so I’d like to say thank you to everyone at the 26 homes, and in our Colchester support office, for joining in with our fundraising so enthusiastically.”