A group of people who live with dementia in Dorset had an especially active month with inspiration from a charity run by a member of their care home team.
Thirty-one was the number in mind as residents at Colten Care’s The Aldbury did their bit to support David Austin’s ultramarathon.
David, Senior Administrator at the Poole home, completed a 31-mile running challenge in aid of Little Lives UK, a charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged children and young people in the Dorset town.
Residents and colleagues showed solidarity with him by purposely walking or moving for at least 31 minutes a day over the course of a month.
Sponsored activities by residents included ‘moving and grooving’ in the garden, picking up fallen leaves, chair yoga, chair football, balloon tennis and even donning tutus to learn basic ballet steps.
Some of the sessions had input from Love To Move Dorset co-ordinator Katie Wilford and were based on a programme devised by the British Gymnastics Foundation.
Together, David and the residents raised nearly £500 for Little Lives, easily beating a £300 target they set at the start.
Melissa Siat, a Companionship Team member at The Aldbury, which offers dedicated dementia care, said:
“Well done to David and all in Team Aldbury! Moved to get active by what David achieved, our residents had great fun keeping fit while raising money for such a deserving cause.
“Everyone at the home was keen to support this initiative as we know the benefits of moving are cognitive, physical and social.
“We all make sure our residents keep active and have fun every day but Katie led sessions that helped everyone focus in a little further on coordination and dexterity.”
David’s ultramarathon was from Moors Valley Country Park near Ferndown to Hengistbury Head on the coast, following the Castleman Trailway for part of the way and along the seafront into Bournemouth.
David said: “It’s wonderful to have had the support of residents in completing the challenge and raising funds for Little Lives.
“Our residents chose it as the home’s main charity to support this year because they know the great work it does for children and young people.”