Wilstead care home residents celebrate Captain Tom’s life and raise funds for local hospice

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Danecroft resident, Kathleen Fitch, with one of the care staff

A care home in Wilstead is stepping up – and stepping out – to attempt a challenge to raise money for Keech Hospice Care.

Residents and carers at Danecroft Residential Home in Wilstead have been inspired by Captain Sir Tom and wanted to do something in his honour, following his death in February.

One of Danecroft’s care staff, Nicola Askham, came up with a suggestion that the residents and staff should do something to celebrate his life, and to raise money for a local charity in the process, Keech Hospice Care.

Between the staff and residents, they have set themselves the challenge to complete 101 laps of the garden in each of the months of February, March, and April, concluding on the 30th April, which marks the day Sir Captain Tom would have turned 101.

Each staff member has been paired up with a resident to encourage participation and a leader board keeps tally of how many laps have been completed.

The fundraiser has encouraged residents to get outdoors into the newly landscaped garden, promoting exercise and exposure to fresh air, something that was impossible to do during times when residents were having to be kept in isolation in their own rooms.

It’s also helped the wellbeing of the residents, giving them a sense of purpose and hope, and a connection with the outside world.

Particularly exciting for everyone was the arrival of ITV Anglia News, followed a week later by the ITV National News team.

The media coverage of the challenge has been particularly heart-warming for family and friends of the residents, some of whom haven’t been able to see their loved ones for over a year now.

The reports captured the laughter, joy and chatter of the residents and staff.

The past year has also been a huge challenge for the charity sector. Organisations like Keech Hospice Care saw most of their funding streams halted overnight, with their shops being closed and fundraising events having to be cancelled.

The target Danecroft has set, to try and support Keech, is £2,000, a target they are well on their way to achieving, the total so far being just shy of £1500.

If you would like to donate, you can visit their Just Giving page here.

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