Residents prove that age is just a number

Freda Toseland, 102, and Veronica Hughes and Alice Roberts, both 104, do some last-minute training for the Sport Relief Mile at Countryview Nursing Home with activities organiser Caroline Barratt and care assistant Janice Eady
Freda Toseland, 102, and Veronica Hughes and Alice Roberts, both 104, do some last-minute training for the Sport Relief Mile at Countryview Nursing Home with activities organiser Caroline Barratt and care assistant Janice Eady
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Nine elderly nursing home residents will be going the extra mile for charity this weekend.

The group, from Countryview Nursing Home in Warkton, will take part in a relay around the home’s grounds on Friday, with the aim of completing a combined Sport Relief Mile.

Three of the residents are over 100 years old, and several of the other six have passed their 90th birthday.

Caroline Barratt, activities organiser at the nursing home, said: “We’re doing it on Friday and, weather permitting, we will hopefully be kicking off at 11am.

“We’ve worked out that a mile is 15 laps of the garden.

“Six of the residents will be in wheelchairs being pushed by some of the staff, but three are going to walk independently and will hopefully manage a lap each.

“There will also be three members of staff, including myself taking part. It’s going to be hard work.”

The oldest residents taking part are 102-year-old Freda Toseland, Veronica Hughes and Alice Roberts, both 104.

The group has already raised £105 through pledges on their sponsorship form, which has been put up in the home’s reception area.

And friends and relatives of the participants have also been invited to a coffee morning on Friday to help drum up more cash.

Mrs Barratt said: “We want to raise as much money as possible.

“The residents enjoy doing activities and getting out and about, so I didn’t really have to persuade them to take part.

“I just heard about the Sport Relief Mile and thought it would be a good idea for us to do. Luckily we’ve got a big garden that we can use.

“The residents are definitely interested in fundraising for charities – not that long ago we took part in the Macmillan Coffee Morning at the home.”

Irish comedian Patrick Kielty, who will help present Sport Relief 2012 on BBC 1 on Friday night, was bowled over by the pensioners’ efforts.

He said: “Wow – what an incredible challenge. The residents at Countryview Nursing Home in Warkton are truly going the extra mile for Sport Relief 2012.

“They prove that anyone can complete a mile, young and old.”

There is still time for people to take part in this year’s Sport Relief Mile, with events in Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby and Stanwick this weekend.

SPORT RELIEF