Chingford News

Chingford care home residents and staff take on virtual North Pole cycle challenge

Using the home’s exercise bike, they are aiming to cycle a combined total of 4,280 kilometres

Residents and staff at 1 Sewardstone Close care home in Chingford, Credit: 1 Sewardstone Close

Residents and staff at a Chingford care home have taken on a virtual cycle challenge covering the distance to the North Pole using the home’s exercise bike.

They are aiming to rack up an impressive total of 4,280km on the bike. Since the challenge start date on 13th November they have cycled 770km, or 478 miles.

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.

Care home resident Ricky on the exercise bike, with lifestyle assistant Sadie, Credit: 1 Sewardstone Close

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.”

Resident Clare with care home staff, Credit: 1 Sewardstone Close

Ricky, 30, has been a resident at Sewardstone Close for eight years due to 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.”