Later living communities raise £30k for Mind

Hundreds of residents and staff at Inspired retirement villages across the UK have raised nearly £30k for mental health charity Mind by joining celebrities in an epic 1,000-mile cycling challenge.

Inspired Villages Group has donated the cash to Mind to boost the charity’s vital work in helping people with mental health problems such as depression and loneliness, which can affect older people.

The Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge brought together residents, staff and families at Inspired Villages’ retirement communities around the UK – and raised awareness about the importance of staying active in later life.

The five-day cycling event was held in the wake of new research by the later living operator that revealed a significant proportion of over-55s aren’t doing enough to look after their health.

The challenge saw a team of Inspired’s senior management take on a gruelling 500-mile cycle ride, starting at the company’s most southerly community, Millbrook Village in Exeter, and ending at its most northerly, Gifford Lea in Cheshire. Meanwhile, residents, staff and families at Inspired’s villages around the UK were invited to make up the remaining 500 miles on static bikes, on foot, in wheelchairs – and even on a horse. The initiative collectively clocked up over 11,000 miles – more than 10 times the 1,000-mile target.

Inspired Villages – which owns and operates retirement communities around the UK with the backing of Legal & General – has now presented Mind with a cheque for £29,140, almost 50% more than Inspired’s fundraising goal of £20,000.

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, who was part of the core team that cycled from Devon to Cheshire, comments:

“It was a real inspiration to see residents, families and colleagues all come together to support a very important cause. Like us, Mind recognises that exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting wellbeing.

“Our 1,000 Mile Challenge was a fantastic way to drive forward our health and wellness agenda, as well as being an enjoyable and valuable experience for all involved.”

Emma Ihsan, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Mind, commented:

“A huge thank you to Inspired Villages for raising a fantastic amount through their Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge, which will help us to reach our goal of providing anyone experiencing a mental health problem with the support they deserve. Money raised will help fund our vital work including our Mind Infoline, information and advice services. We are very grateful for Inspired Villages’ support and hope that the residents all enjoyed getting involved with this event”.

The Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge, which took place in May, was also supported by celebrities including TV fitness guru Mr Motivator, and TV’s Dr Dawn Harper and Julia Bradbury – all advocates of staying active in later life.

To find out more about the Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge, visit www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/events/1000-mile-challenge.

For more information, events and current availability at Inspired Villages, visit the website at: https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/