Determined stroke survivor Molly, 84, ‘cycles 100 miles to London’ for charity

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CHALLENGE. Molly Tarrant on her static physiotherapy bike at Colten Care’s Bourne View care home in Poole, Dorset. With her are Companionship Team Members Paul Wookey, right, and Brian Ramsey.

A Dorset care home resident who suffered a major stroke affecting her mobility has begun an ‘incredible‘ cycle challenge in aid of a hospice charity.

Despite being unable to walk, Molly Tarrant is aiming to ride 100 miles on her static physiotherapy bike, the equivalent distance from her care home to London.   

Ex-factory supervisor Molly has lived at Colten Care’s Bourne View home in Poole since just after her stroke more than two years ago.

It left her with loss of movement in both her legs and her right arm. Since then, she has been carrying out daily exercises to rebuild her strength, regain muscle mass and help with overall rehabilitation. 

Molly is being coached on her bike ride by Bourne View Companionship Team Members Paul Wookey and Brian Ramsey.

Together they agreed to turn her daily exercise into a way of raising £1,000 for Poole-based charity Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.

Paul said: “When chatting to Molly we came up with the idea of setting a challenge, just as Captain Sir Tom Moore did, but with a difference, and on a bike. I can’t tell you how much admiration we have for her. It’s helping her overcome her fears and the adversity of all that she has suffered, it’s incredible. Molly has the most vibrant personality and this challenge is showing her enormous strength of character. We have immense respect for her.”

Molly rides a mile every ten minutes during a session on most days. She aims to reach 100 miles by the end of March and says she may even keep the campaign going after that.

“I love the fact that I’m fundraising for such a brilliant charity,” said Molly. “Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is based just down the road from where I’ve always lived. I’ve heard about the brilliant work they do for patients with life-limiting illnesses and I wanted to do something myself and give something back. I’m cycling most days, with the occasional rest day. Mostly I cycle for about ten minutes each day but last Saturday I cycled for 30 minutes. I felt good so just kept going, because I could.”

Molly’s daughter Tracey said: “Mum was always very active but I wasn’t aware of her ever being a keen cyclist. I was completely surprised and very proud to hear that she had taken on this challenge. It’s a great idea for her mental and physical health. Everyone wins – she gets the exercise, has something to focus on during lockdown and raises money for charity in the process.”

Jeremy Allin, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care Chairman, said: “What a wonderful lady Molly is, with so much grit and determination, very much to be admired. We are extremely grateful to Molly for taking on this challenge and raising funds for her local hospice. It’s very much appreciated by everyone.” 

Born in Poole in December 1936, Molly married Frank in her early 20s at the town’s Oakdale Church. Frank died in 2000. Molly has lived in Oakdale all her life and in the same house for 40 years. In her working life she worked as a supervisor at the Max Factor cosmetics factory in West Howe, Bournemouth, and as a security van driver.

Established 29 years ago, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care supports nearly 500 individuals and families every year with a range of hospice services in Dorset. It is Bourne View’s main nominated charity for residents and staff to support during 2021.  To donate to #MollyRidesToLondon, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mollyridestolondon

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CHALLENGE. Molly Tarrant on her static physiotherapy bike at Colten Care’s Bourne View care home in Poole, Dorset. With her are Companionship Team Members Paul Wookey, right, and Brian Ramsey.

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