South Tyneside care home raise money for mental health taking part in a bike

A South Tyneside care home has raised vital funds for a mental health charity after taking part in a cycling challenge.

Residents, staff and visitors at Willowdene Care Home on Victoria Road West, Hebburn cycled almost 200 miles to raise hundreds of pounds for a suicide prevention charity.

A static bike was brought to the care home by a staff member as part of a fundraising event for Samaritans who provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide

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Across two days those living, working, and visiting the care home took turns taking part in the charity bike ride. In total, they rode 193 miles and have so far collected over £250, with more contributions still coming in.

Willowdene Care Home manager Chris Hogan-Hind and activities coordinator Claire Wade at the end of their charity cycle for suicide prevention charity Samaritans.

Home manager Chris Hogan-Hind and activities coordinator Claire Wade, who owns the bike, completed the bulk of the miles, with maître d’ Christine Chandler, care assistants Emma Henderson and Andrea Bennett, deputy manager Kelly Davison, and maintenance man Richard Johns also keeping the wheels spinning.

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He said: “This time the team wanted to focus on a charity that works to prevent suicide and does so much to support people’s mental health.

“Over the last few years, we will all know someone who has been impacted by mental health struggles and for many their own mental health has taken a huge knock.

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Eleanor Oley (left), a family member of Willowdene Care Home resident Eleanor Rundel, 92, and activities coordinator Claire Wade during a charity cycle for suicide prevention charity Samaritans.

“Through it all, Samaritans offer non-judgmental support to people who are struggling, and to those who have experienced the bereavement of someone close who has taken their own lives.

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“We wanted to raise a bit of money to help the charity provide as much support as they can. Activities coordinator Claire, staff, family members, and residents did a great job cycling towards our goal.”

Residents of the care home showed their support for those taking part cheering them on.

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Eleanor Oley, a family member of resident Eleanor Rundel, 92, also got involved during her visit, adding a couple of miles to the clock.

This was the second fundraising event of the year for the home, with home manager Chris previously getting his legs waxed for community foodbank Hebburn Helps.