Bighearted colleagues at Colten Care homes in the south saddled up to help Sport Relief 2020.

The fundraising marathon, in aid of vulnerable people in the UK and overseas, saw Colten staff clock up hundreds of sponsored miles on virtual bike rides.

They pedalled away on stationary exercise bikes positioned in foyers and lounges as residents and fellow team members gathered to cheer them on.

The rides became a focal point for chats and encouragement, helping to create some pleasant distraction away from the coronavirus pandemic.

Myrtle Smith, who lives at Colten Care’s Bourne View home in Poole, Dorset, said: “It was great fun watching our lovely cyclists take time to fundraise. Well done to all involved for helping such a worthy cause.”

Colten Care has a deliberate policy of linking its companionship and activities programmes with fundraising for charities chosen by residents.

Bethany Wells, a Companionship Team Member at Bourne View and one of those who took part, said: “Our residents and team members really value being part of the community and raising money for worthwhile causes. It’s entirely up to residents which charities we support. Once the choice is made, we all get behind it.  We were only too happy to help Sport Relief this year and we’re especially pleased that some of the money raised nationally will go to help people affected by coronavirus.”

As well as the bike ride, a whole wooden skittle alley was loaned to Bourne View free of charge for the day by Christopher Poole, owner of Bournemouth hire company Castle Fun. The idea of a skittles challenge followed a special request by resident Ken Hartwell. He was the first of 14 residents to take aim and ended up as the winner after knocking down eight of the nine skittles in one go.

Other Colten homes participating in Sport Relief this year included Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, Canford Chase and The Aldbury in Poole, Amberwood House in Ferndown, Avon Reach in Mudeford and St Catherines View in Winchester.

Their various bikes rides and skittle tournaments were complemented by other gentle games and sports such as three-legged races, trampolining, balloon tennis, and egg and spoon races.

Altogether, the homes raised more than £300. Nationally, this year’s Sport Relief has raised more than £40 million for charitable causes.

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