Teams from care homes across the country are coming to the end of a cycle relay challenge from the Scottish Highlands to the South Coast of England and ending in Jersey, to raise money for BBC Children in Need.
Colleagues from every one of the 71 homes run by care group brighterkind have taken part, cycling stages of the route of up to more than 90 miles.
The route, which covers over 2,000 miles in total, started in Inverness, ran through Scotland and England, before culminating in St. Brelade, Jersey on Wednesday 15 November.
The team’s mascot, Buddy Bear, has been handed down at the end of each stage to eventually make it to St.Brelade, Jersey.
The long ride started on Monday 2nd October and aims to finish on Wednesday 15th November. Brighterkind aims to raise over £17,500 for Children in Need from the ride.
More than 150 colleagues from brighterkind care homes and the management team have taken part, including Chief Executive Jeremy Richardson who has taken leave to ride over three consecutive days and Chief Operating Officer, Lorraine McGarry-Wall. Relatives of care home residents are also taking part.
The participants have had support along the route by sporting personalities. International Triathlete stars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee supported the fund-raising challenge during a stage of the route from Leeds to Heckmondwike. The brothers actively support young people through the Brownlee Foundation, which is committed to giving children all over the UK a positive sporting experience and encouraging them to get active in any sport.
The cycle challenge is the brainchild of Michelle Wilson, regional Operations Director at brighterkind. She admits she isn’t a keen cyclist and the last time she was on a bike was five years ago, but has since taken part in a fund-raising cycle team challenge using gym exercise bikes. This gave her the idea to organise something bigger and better.
Michelle said: “There has been amazing encouragement and support from colleagues, residents in our care homes and their relatives. People from every one of our homes have volunteered to get into the saddle take part in the ride to help children.”
The project is titled “wishing wheels”. Michelle explained: “We have a wishing well scheme in brighterkind homes, which aims to make it possible for residents to experience something they have long wanted to try or be taken somewhere they want to visit. The cycle challenge is to raise money to help make some children’s wishes come true – hence wishing wheels.”
To donate, visit the Wishing Wheels Just Giving Page