Care home group raises staggering £10,000 for Children in Need

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appeal4Community-minded residents and staff at a family-owned care home operator have done their bit for BBC Children in Need by raising more than £10,000.

Team members at Colten Care totted up the total following events across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex in aid of the annual appeal.

A key focus was Lymington where three homes held a fortnight’s fundraising extravaganza launched by Pudsey bear himself that culminated in a sparkling ‘black tie and diamonds’ ball.

Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and Linden House all set up stationary exercise bikes in their foyers so residents and visitors could help ‘cycle Pudsey home’ by covering the 500 or so miles that would take him to and from the BBC studios in Manchester. 

The virtual journey was streamed live using web cams so communities could check on progress in real time. The initiative proved so popular that the distance target was smashed a few days ahead of Children in Need night.

At Linden House, a dedicated dementia care home, cyclist David Brass completed 100 miles himself, raising £542. David is the son-in-law of former resident Shirley Pawley.

Explaining why he wanted to support the home’s community work, David said: “My over-riding impression of Linden House was nothing but welcoming and kindness, not only to Shirley, but also the whole family. It’s a wonderful home.”

At the same time, one of Colten Care’s minibuses was specially decorated Pudsey-style with colourful spots for a photo and poetry competition.

As it went on its rounds in and around Lymington, members of the public were invited to take and send in a photo of it with a short caption to describe what fun they would like to have in their later years. The winner, Sonia Elliott, wrote: “Out and about with Colten Care, Ice creams and other fare, That’s the life I’d like to lead, And they deal with every need.”

The black-tie ball, at Lymington Sailing Club, included an auction of donated items and a broadcast by BBC TV presenter Alexis Green as part of the telethon evening.

Court Lodge was also where a young care home worker had 100 cans of baked beans poured over her by residents and colleagues in aid of the appeal.

Activities Organiser Julia Puia raised more than £300 by enduring the hour-long chilly challenge.

At Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, residents enjoyed a teddy bears’ picnic and 1950s singalong while at Fernhill in Ferndown the focus was a 1920s casino party. Fernhill Activities Organiser Karen Grant A’Court said: “It was a lovely light-hearted event that brought young and not-so-young together. The youngest was aged six and the oldest 101. Everyone had a smile on their face.”

Other homes saw fancy dress events, quizzes, cake sales, tea parties and bingo sessions.

With some pledges still to be collected, the total amount raised by Colten Care for Children in Need this year has so far come to £10,010. This is more than double the amount raised last year.

Colten Care has a policy of linking activities programmes at all 20 of its homes with fundraising for charities chosen by residents.

Activities Manager Jo London said: “Children in Need is always a great chance for everyone to join in and show their support. Our residents and team members really value being part of the community and doing their bit for worthy causes.”

This year’s BBC Children in Need appeal raised a record £46.6 million nationally. The money goes towards helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.     

For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk/ChildrenInNeed

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Bear faced: Residents Joan Tomkins (left) and Betty Potter at Colten Care's Avon Cliff home, with Brian Knight, Activity Organiser, and Joan's husband, Keith.
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