On your bike! Care home residents take on London to North Pole cycle challenge

On your bike! Care home residents take on London to North Pole cycle challenge zoom

Residents and members of the team at a London-based care home accepted the challenge to complete a virtual cycle to the North Pole using the home’s exercise bike, a whopping 4,280km.

1 Sewardstone Close is a specialist care home providing nursing care and rehabilitation services for people living with an acquired brain injury and other neurological conditions.

The challenge was set by the home’s occupational therapist to encourage residents to use the exercise bike more often.

Starting on November 13, residents – supported by members of the care home team – have cycled 770km, almost 500 miles!

The lifestyle team created a festive nook to position the bike, with a snowy forest scene for inspiration. Linda Fitzsimmons, head of lifestyle at the care home, said: “Moving the bike out of the gym has made it more accessible, and residents have gained independence by being able to choose when they want to use it.

“Everyone has really got behind the challenge, even a few of the residents’ visitors have joined in the fun.

“There has been some healthy competition which has helped to encourage participation. Residents who already like to use the bike are using it more often, and it has encouraged those who don’t usually cycle to give it a go.

“Although we won’t be reaching the North Pole by Christmas Eve, it’s been a great success and the residents have decided to keep it going, so hopefully we will hit our target by Christmas 2024!”

Clare, aged 40, made Sewardstone Close her home in 2021 following a brain injury. A wheelchair user, she requires support and encouragement to participate in physical therapy.

“It’s been a fun challenge,” said Clare, who uses her arms and hands to peddle the wheelchair accessible bike.

“I really enjoy using the exercise bike now. It has made me feel really good in myself and I definitely feel fitter.”

Ricky, aged 30, has been a resident at Sewardstone Close for eight years and has a brain injury. He added: “I think the cycle to the North Pole challenge is awesome. I have enjoyed using the exercise bike and will carry on after the challenge as it’s made me feel much stronger.”

Occupational therapist Eric is delighted with the home’s efforts. “The bike is such a great piece of exercise equipment, but I felt it was underused,” he explained.

“The challenge was all about increasing the culture of exercise and physical activity within the home, for both residents and members of the team.

“I am so impressed with how well everyone has risen to the North Pole challenge, and I have definitely seen physical improvements during residents’ therapy sessions. It’s brilliant that they want to continue the challenge next year and I am sure they will smash it.”

The 29-bed care home is run by Enable Care, specialists in nursing care and rehabilitation services. The modern, purpose-built home is fully equipped to provide nursing care that is focused on increasing independence.