Riding on the success of British cyclists in this year’s
European tours, an intrepid group of staff from a specialist dementia care
village operator in Cheshire are channelling their bulldog spirit into a coast
to coast challenge, cycling a gruelling 140 miles over four days with the aim
of raising over £1000 to support activities for care village residents.
Barbara Tait (42), Lewis Newstead (24), Sian Ryland (26),
Katie Walker (25), Peter McNicholas (54), and Debbie Quinn (57) are all members
of staff from Belong care villages in Macclesfield and Warrington who are
participating in the challenge, as well as Debbie’s 15-year old son, Kieran.
The group will set off on Thursday 4th October at 9am from Earl’s Road,
Whitehaven and travel from the west to the east coast of England, arriving at
Tynemouth Castle, Tynemouth by approximately 1pm on Sunday 7th. With overnight
stops planned along the way in Penrith, Alston, and Saint John’s Chapel, the
group will cycle 30-35 miles for 4-5 hours each day until they reach their
destination, which will involve a tough climb over the Pennines.
Family members and colleagues from the care villages will be
there to assist and cheer the travellers on along the journey, driving between
locations with food, clothes, and equipment before greeting them at the finish
Lead exercise instructor at Belong Macclesfield and driving
force behind Belong’s participation in the challenge, Barbara Tait, said:
“We’re very excited to take on the coast to coast challenge, especially for
such a good cause. Our team comprises a mixture of Belong roles - fitness,
administration and maintenance - within Macclesfield and Warrington care
villages, and we’ve been training very hard for about six months, covering
everything from short, fast cycles to longer, hilly rides. Fingers crossed the
weather doesn’t add to the challenge!”
Matching the real-life efforts of the Belong cycle team,
residents from all seven Belong care villages in north-west England will take
part in a cycle marathon fundraiser of their own, where they too will cycle a
collective total of 140 miles. The event will take place on 11th October and
residents will use the bike and step machines in their respective Belong gyms
to clock up the miles for charity.
Any members of the public willing to support the fundraising
will be able to do so by dropping in to the
receptions at Belong Macclesfield and Warrington care villages, or click here to visit the JustGiving page.