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Residents and tenants cycle the distance from Norwich to Lisbon!

While the HSBC UK National Road Championships Time Trials were taking place on Norfolk’s roads on Thursday 27th June, residents and tenants from four homes were taking part in their own competition.

79 residents, staff and visitors from Lydia Eva Court in Gorleston, Munhaven in Mundesley, Rose Meadow in North Walsham, and Green Lane View in Aylsham took part in the care home cycling challenge. A competition between the homes was set up to see how far each home could cycle in a 5 hour period with Lydia Eva Court in Gorleston cycling the furthest – an amazing 610 miles! In total, the cyclists covered 1,460 miles, the equivalent of the distance from Norwich to Lisbon in Portugal.

Using hand bikes, fixed foot pedal bikes, tandems and adapted tricycles, residents, tenants, families and activity staff enjoyed a wonderful day, with each home having a celebratory afternoon tea once all the exercise had been completed.

The teams were ably assisted by helpers from Active Norfolk, who are supporting us with activities and wellbeing sessions in care homes and schemes.

Ryan Hughes, Active Ageing Officer at Active Norfolk (pictured with residents from Lydia Eva Court) explained how the event came about: “Active Norfolk wanted to support NorseCare in bringing the Great British Cycling Festival to life for residents in their care homes around the Road Race route. The Festival is a great opportunity to engage with residents who may be living with dementia, as they recall memories of cycling as a youth, share stories, and for everybody to enjoy the sensory experiences of cycling. We’re delighted to be able to assist NorseCare in making this possible for their residents and their families, and to see everyone enjoying cycling and being active.”

Evan, a resident from Lydia Eva Court, who cycled over 40 miles using a hand bike said: “it was so much fun, I feel like I could do a marathon!” Another resident, Michael, who had his training shoes on by 9.30am – a full hour ahead of the start time, cycled over 60 miles.

Kate Grange, our Dementia Care Lead, who also took part, enthused about the event. “It’s been amazing. Our residents and tenants were all so keen to take part. Our wellbeing co-ordinators always put on lots of activities and events to support our residents and tenants. Today has been a lot of fun, it’s also been great to show how we can provide different ways to support people to exercise and keep active.”

Resources for this cycling challenge were provided by Active Norfolk to support wider community engagement initiatives linked with the Great British Cycling Festival, and with funding from the EU Interreg SAIL project (Stay Active and Independent for Longer) which aims to stimulate active ageing and develop awareness of the importance of physical activity for older people.

Active Norfolk is the Active Partnership for Norfolk, accepted within the county as a lead organisation for the strategic development and promotion of sport and physical activity. Hosted by Norfolk County Council, Active Norfolk works in partnership with different groups across the county, ranging from statutory health bodies, local government, health and well-being charities, to the individuals and groups at the heart of our communities such as sports clubs and coaches, to increase physical activity levels across the county, and support Norfolk residents to lead healthy and active lifestyles.

For more information on SAIL, visit https://www.activenorfolk.org/sail

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