Team Colten mobilises to support Marathon charities

Residents and team members at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury at the start line for the walk in aid of the 2.6 Challenge.

An all-round team effort by care home staff has helped raise £1,000 – and counting – for charities facing a funding shortfall due to the London Marathon not going ahead.

When they heard the annual race was cancelled due to Covid-19, team members at Colten Care’s Ringwood, Hampshire, head office and 21 care homes across the South were concerned about the good causes likely to miss out.

Joining the national 2.6 Challenge, reflecting the 26 miles in a marathon and the date the London event would have been on – Sunday, 26 April, they staged their own ‘marathon-related’ sponsorship activities.

Already, head office staff have raised more than £1,000 with amounts across the homes themselves still being counted.

While respecting all the essential social distancing rules, the list of activities included 26-mile bike rides and walks, 2.6-mile runs, cookery challenges, trampolining and hula-hooping.

At Kingfishers care home in New Milton, Hampshire, staff invited residents to take part in a 26-minute ‘seated dance’.

A head office manager, Senior Buyer Tim Jones, completed a 26-hour DIY decorating challenge at his home.

Among other colleagues and their children, activities included:

  • baking 26 fairy cakes and 26 scones
  • performing 126 handspring flips, 26 back somersaults and 26 front somersaults on a trampoline
  • a 26-burpee workout
  • a husband and wife together completing 260 press-ups in under 26 minutes
  • two children together running 260 times round their garden.


Residents and team members at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury at the finishing line for the walk in aid of the 2.6 Challenge.

At Colten’s Braemar Lodge in Salisbury, colleagues clocked up a combined 26-mile walk through the gardens and home corridors.

Much to the delight of residents, they even incorporated their activity in an outdoor dance routine to tunes including The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles and You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Jackie Cash, Clinical Lead at Braemar Lodge, said: “We wanted to make it entertaining for our residents.

“Because of lockdown and social distancing restrictions, this is such a strange time for everyone and people are missing their families and friends.

“We always want our residents to know we are there for them, even when we are fundraising for others, so we thought we’d put on a show as part of our walk.”

Resident Dennis Johnson, who helped man the start and finish lines at Braemar, said: “You have to feel sorry for the many charities who would have been relying on receiving money from the London Marathon.

“It’s great that Colten Care is stepping in to do its bit, and have some fun at the same time.”

One of the organisers of Colten’s head office involvement in the 2.6 Challenge was Operations Manager and keen runner Jacky Sylvester.

She completed the 50th marathon of her running career by finishing last year’s London Marathon while raising money for dementia research.

Jacky said: “When Team Colten put their minds to something, they really do deliver. I am so proud of my colleagues at head office for all the imaginative ways they have supported the 2.6 Challenge this year.

“The same goes for our fellow team members and residents across our homes. Well done to everyone who got behind our campaign.”

A short film of the 2.6 Challenge dance performance at Braemar Lodge features on Colten Care’s YouTube channel


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