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Pedal power guides Colten Care’s charity thank-you

Bighearted care home staff got on their bikes to thank a voluntary group who helped give their residents a summer of days out in the natural beauty of the New Forest.

Cyclists Ben Benson-Breen, Tim Jones and Colten Care resident Dennis Johnson at Braemar Lodge in SalisburyNine cyclists from Colten Care raised nearly £600 on a 50-mile ride in aid of PedALL, a charity that offers guidance and specially adapted bikes for people with disabilities or restricted mobility.

During the summer, the two organisations teamed up to enable around 200 Colten residents from seven homes to access the New Forest off-road cycling network in safety and comfort.

As a thank you, Colten staff staged a sponsored ride starting at the Salisbury home Braemar Lodge and taking in homes in Brockenhurst, Lymington and New Milton, and finishing at Avon Reach in Mudeford.

Residents and cyclists at Braemar Lodge ahead of the start of the bike rideAmong those waving them off at Braemar Lodge after a breakfast of bacon butties was resident Betty Winter, who recalled her trips out in the summer. “It was great fun, a splendid idea,” said Betty. “I enjoyed going out on the bikes so much. It was absolutely great. We had lovely days.”

Ben Benson-Breen, Senior Companionship Team Leader, who helped organise both the summer trips and the thank-you ride, said: “The volunteers at PedALL were brilliant, they made some very special moments possible for our residents, and we thought it was only right to try and give something back.

“For some of our residents, the summer was the first time they had been back in the saddle for many decades and they absolutely loved it.”

At Belmore Lodge in Lymington with Home Manager Julie HouseThe thank-you ride included refreshment stops at each of the homes on route: Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, the Lymington homes Linden House, Court Lodge and Belmore Lodge, and Kingfishers in New Milton.

Ben said: “The support from everyone has been awesome. Not all of us are experienced cyclists but by the end we were all hardened road warriors crossing the line at Avon Reach as very much one team. Some serious muscle power was put in. The morale and positivity was definitely down to the encouragement we were shown along the way. We really couldn’t have been better looked after.”

Find out more about Colten Care's New Forest homes

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home...

Covid-19: it is not currently possible to visit Colten Care's homes. Please find more details here:

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst

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