Staff and residents at a Hertfordshire care home are one step closer to reaching their fund-raising target to acquire a disabled-friendly minibus following an inspired 12-hour walkathon around its grounds.
The sponsored walk, which lasted a total of 12 hours and 49 minutes, saw Emma Coates, a caregiver at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, complete 104 laps around the estate’s circular gardens, joined and cheered by residents and fellow staff throughout the day, in a bid to raise funds for the inclusive minibus.
Emma’s 104 laps paid homage to Foxholes’ oldest resident of the same age, Joyce Birrell, a former first aid responder during the Second World War, who joined Emma on her final lap much to the delight of all those involved at the home.
Upon completing the walkathon, Emma said: “Thank you to all those who participated and helped me complete the 104 laps. After almost 13 hours, I finally crossed the line with Joyce and her son Mike to amazing applause and celebration. The support has been incredible and I can’t thank everyone involved enough for all their hard work in helping host the event and get us closer to our fund-raising target.”
The fastest resident to complete a lap was 96-year-old Audrey Cornell, looping around the grounds in an impressive four minutes and 40 seconds, while Tracy Clifford, Housekeeping Assistant at Foxholes, recorded the fastest staff lap, clocking just two minutes and 55 seconds. The fastest resident and staff wheelchair combo was won by June Janes and Stella Burton, who completed their lap in three minutes and 40 seconds.
Hailed a success, the walkathon raised over £300 towards acquiring a minibus equipped with a wheelchair ramp, adaptable seats, removable seats for wheelchairs, and a toilet, making it more accessible and suitable for residents to enjoy year-round day trips.
Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “We’ve wanted a new vehicle for a while as the one we currently have is very small and can only fit four people plus one wheelchair. We’re hoping to purchase something that is inclusive to our non-mobile residents and can hold more people too. Our residents enjoy their day trips out and we’d love to take them out a lot more.
“We’re thrilled with the amount of support we received from residents, staff and relatives, helping us to raise over £300. It was a great way to keep active, enjoy some fresh air and have some fun. Thank you to all those who donated.”