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Developments take on 100-mile charity challenge

Two FirstPort retirement developments have taken on Mind’s 100 miles in March challenge, in a bid to boost the physical and mental health of residents and staff.

The challenge involves fundraisers – as a team or solo – walking, running, swimming, cycling, or even hopping 100 miles during the month of March

Residents at FirstPort are doing a whole range of activities to clock up their 100 miles, including over 2,000 laps of their development’s corridors, as well as regular outdoor walks around the local area.

The fundraiser was set up by the charity Mind, which helps raise life-changing funds for people with mental health problems.

Ros Fernandez, the FirstPort Development Manager at Fromow Gardens in Surrey, said she wanted to introduce something fun that all residents can enjoy.

She explained:

“Mind does great work and I think it’s important that we also raise aware within our community that mental health can affect older people who may be feeling isolated or lonely, especially following the impact of the pandemic.

By taking on this challenge and working together as a small community, we are working towards defeating those winter blues and replacing it with a good bit of community spirit.

There are also the health benefits that come with taking on this challenge. I’m really proud of the residents at Fromow Gardens and I hope they are having as much fun as me in completing these 100 miles.”

There are many health benefits to being active and getting endorphins flowing. For residents Jane and Tony Doherty, they say that walking is brilliant for clearing the mind, adding:

“It just makes you feel you are part of life and not just within your own four walls. Bird song and fresh air all help you to feel better generally.”

Residents have also taken up the challenge in Fairholme Court in Hampshire. Steph Appleton, the Development Manager at the site said residents manage to clock over 110 miles, and much of the challenge involves laps of the corridors in the development.

She added:

“There’s definitely been a palpable buzz around the development since we started the challenge.

I don’t know if it’s because we are coming out of spring, covid rules have eased, or whether it’s the fundraising, but this challenge really does seem to have brought everyone closer together.

It’s lovely to see and it’s really given our residents something to work towards.”

Steph says residents are now looking for the next challenge to work towards.

Resident, Sue Cooper, took on the challenge after finding out her granddaughter was running 100 miles for Mind throughout March.

Sue explained:

“I started playing my part. I started doing two lots of 20 lengths of the downstairs corridor, knowing that 23 lengths is a mile.

I set my target at give miles so have to do the 20 lengths six times to reach that target. I think it benefits my knees but certainly exhausts me, and I still have two of the 20 laps to complete.

My most athletic son tells me it’s no good doing it if it does not challenge… So here it goes.”

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