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Young Carers To Benefit As Care Home Walkers Smash Marathon Challenge

Around 30 kindhearted walkers living at a New Forest care home have proved it’s never too late to get active and raise money for a worthy cause.

Residents of Colten Care’s Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst have spoken of their joy and sense of achievement in smashing a distance target and raising more than £1,100 for the Honeypot young carers’ charity.

Walking or using wheelchairs, the fundraisers originally set a target of 26.2 miles – the length of a marathon – by completing as many laps of their garden as they could using three routes graded for accessibility and number of steps.

But over three weeks, they surpassed this several times.

Companionship Team member Jo Anderson said: “We ended up completing 279,084 steps which equates to 139.5 miles so collectively we walked 5.3 marathons. How amazing is that!”

The residents, supported by team members, families and friends from the New Forest Walk to Work group, filled out ‘fitness passports’ to log their steps.

They were also invited to join exercise classes in the garden to help keep up the momentum.

June Farrow said: “We did our little bit, all pulled together. It just proves we can achieve anything when we put our mind to it.”

When she heard that the Get Active challenge had raised a total of £1,126 for Honeypot, the home’s main nominated charity for this year, Maureen Miller said: “It was absolutely marvellous how much we raised. I never thought that was possible. I have enjoyed my contribution especially our exercise classes we do at least twice a week.”

Shirley Jolliffe said: “Congratulations to all the carers and staff who accompanied the residents on the laps.”

And Richard Bavister said: “It was truly amazing the amount raised for Honeypot.”

Jo added: “This challenge was bought about by our residents’ desire to be more active. We already run two to three exercise classes a week and still they want more. As we all know, exercise is beneficial for people of all ages as it helps to maintain and improve physical functions such as balance, flexibility and strength.  This can make it easier to perform everyday tasks and help to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.  It promotes mental health and can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost self-esteem and confidence.  It is never too late to start exercising as our wonderful residents have proved by taking up and completing this challenge. We presented everyone who took part with a rosette for their amazing contributions. And we would like to thank sponsor Alex Wilkins from Keyplan Wealth in Brockenhurst for adding to the total.”