Residents of Brunelcare’s Deerhurst Care Home Cycled from London to Bristol!


Residents of Brunelcare’s Deerhurst Care Home in Soundwell marked their 20th anniversary by raising funds for sports equipment for local youngsters with a sponsored ride on static bikes on 6th July. On the day, between residents, staff, family and visiting school children, everyone cycled more than the target distance of the Isambard kingdom Brunel railway of 120 miles from Paddington to Bristol!


The sponsorship and fund raising is to help pay for sports equipment for Apple Tree Pre School and St Stephens CofE Junior school, both located near Deerhurst care home. More than £190 had been raised half way through the day!


To raise awareness of the cycle ride, care home staff and residents invited their neighbours and the school children to lunch to celebrate the home’s 20th anniversary and contribute to national community initiatives The Big Lunch and The Great Get Together.


The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project and funded by the Big Lottery is an annual celebration of community, connections and what we have in common. Neighbours from all over the UK come together for fun, sociable events such as a street party. This year, The Big Lunch is working in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation and The Great Get Together with the aim of creating the biggest community celebration in the UK since the Jubilee.


Growing Support, a Bristol based social enterprise, is working with care homes in the South West to support older people living in residential care to join this fantastic community celebration. They are supporting Deerhurst to enable residents to connect with the local community and join in The Big Lunch and The Great Get Together.


The long term aim of the project is that each of the 400,000 older people living in residential care in the UK has more opportunities to get together and make lasting connections with their neighbours and learning from the experience of Deerhurst residents will help make this happen.


Lesley Hobbs, Manager of Deerhurst Care Home, says

“Residents are really keen to show how big a contribution they make to the local community and how important exercise is to everybody – old and young. A sponsored ‘static-bike ride’ seemed the perfect way to do this! We are also delighted to have taken part in national celebrations of community by hosting A Big Lunch for our neighbours to celebrate our care home’s 20th anniversary. We thank everyone living nearby who came along to support us.”


Victoria Hill, Director of Growing Support, says:


“Older people living in care can be at increased risk of loneliness and social isolation despite spending most of their day surrounded by people. Rates of severe loneliness reported by people living in care are more than twice that of people living in the in the wider community. It’s great to see residents joining in national initiatives The Big Lunch and The Great Get Together to build connections with their neighbours.”


Peter Lefort of The Big Lunch said:


“Most of us live within 10 minutes of one of the 17,700 care homes in the UK and yet many people have never visited their local home. We’re delighted that The Big Lunch, Growing Support, and The Great Get Together are all working together to enable more older people living in care than ever before to get together with their neighbours to celebrate friendship and enjoy being part of a thriving community.”


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