Jersey Cheshire Home marks anniversary with 40km walk

The residents at Jersey Cheshire Home attempt to walk 40km to celebrate the Home’s big 40th birthday. Using specialist equipment, the staff plan to get as many residents as possible physically walking a few kilometres up the road outside the Home Picture: ROB CURRIE. (35591411)

STAFF and residents from Jersey Cheshire Home took on the challenge of walking 40km yesterday for the charity’s 40th anniversary.

Staff completed 220 laps of Rope Walk outside the home, which cares for adults with disabilities, to reach the target.

Residents joined in with the challenge, walking distances adapted to each individual and using special equipment, including a parapodium, which allows people with paralysis to stand and walk a short way.

All 30 residents, who range in age from late 20s to 80s, took part, while family members were involved with fundraising.

The walkers began at 7am and aimed to be finished by 5pm.

Steve Martin, registered manager for the home, said that staff and residents had worked hard to get everyone at the home involved.

The community around the home helped with the event, he added. Builders on the street played music and family members were collecting donations in the area.

One staff member, Rita Anzola, walked the 40km after finishing a 12-hour night shift.

Donna Abel, the home’s chief executive, said that the cost-of-living crisis had impacted on the home’s finances. The cost of operating had gone up and the public purse has tightened dramatically, she said, reducing how much people give to charities.

She said it cost £8,500 a day to run the home and, after charging for services, the home still needed to raise more than £2,000 a day.

Speaking before undertaking a section using a motorised wheelchair, Stanley Baudains, who has been a resident at the facility for ten months, said moving to the home had changed his life.

Mr Baudains said that he was distraught when he found out he had diabetic neuropathy – a condition where diabetes causes nerve damage – which meant he had lost feeling in his lower legs.

‘It’s as if somebody had turned a switch and turned a light on in my life again. That’s the impact [the home] makes,’ he said.

The event is part of 40 days of fundraisers, from 3 April to 13 May. Residents have taken on challenges including seeing how tall a sunflower can grow, relearning to play the guitar after having had a stroke, and learning calligraphy.

Jersey Cheshire Home is raising money to buy a wheelchair-accessible vehicle – ideally an electric one – which cost around £30,000.

The home already owns two vehicles.

Jeff Ferguson, an occupational therapist for JCH, walked the whole 40km. He said: ‘This was an opportunity to support their challenge by doing something that will bring the whole home together. Everyone can join in.’

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