BOLTON to Blackpool by bicycle was the fundraising plan for two care home workers hoping to give residents a special Christmas – but the latest national lockdown restrictions threw a spanner in the spokes.
Instead of scrapping their fundraiser, care assistant Mike Adamson and maintenance man Gary Plant, who both work at Lever Edge Care Home, on Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever, Bolton, came up with an alternative idea.
The pair cycled the 40-mile journey on static bikes in the care home lounge – raising over £200 to go towards a Christmas market in the home, as well as gifts and party food for the festivities.
Mike said: “We had planned to do a sponsored bike ride to Blackpool on the Saturday before the national lockdown restrictions were imposed – so we had to change our plans. Instead we used exercise bikes and cycled the distance we would have done.
Gary added: “We chose Blackpool because it is a well-known place for the residents. They all have a lot of memories of Blackpool and talk about it a lot.”
The sponsored cycle sparked a reminiscence session among the residents while Mike and Gary peddled on their exercise bikes.
During the session, residents used tablet computers to watch videos from Blackpool on YouTube and look at printed photos of the town and its attractions.
James Crawley, 84, said: “I enjoyed talking about my holidays in Blackpool and can remember a lot of the landmarks from the area.
“Watching the videos of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach was great fun. The log flume was a must when I used to visit. I had to go on it every time.”
Margaret Goulding, 90, said: “I enjoyed talking about going to the South Shore on my holidays with my husband, Frank, and staying at the hotel that my friend owned.”
Joyce Duckworth, 90, said: “I remember going on day trips to Blackpool and then later on going on family holidays and staying there for a week at a time. It was very exciting getting to go on holiday.”
Alix Isherwood, activities coordinator at Lever Edge Care Home, said: “Mike and Gary did an amazing job raising a fantastic amount for the residents’ fund.
“The money will be going towards our Christmas market. We’ve bought a snow machine, giant Santa, lots of food and gifts, so it will really help towards the cost, and also making Christmas and New Year special for our residents.”