Care home staff raise more than £1,000 cycling 26 miles

Francesca Vecchio (left) and Bethany Tooke (right) began their 26 mile sponsored cycle in Wells-next

Francesca Vecchio (left) and Bethany Tooke (right) began their 26 mile sponsored cycle in Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture: submitted. - Credit: Francesca Vecchio

Francesca Vecchio hadn’t ridden her bike in two years, but she and her colleague Bethany Tooke decided they would endure 26 miles through wind and rain this weekend to raise money for the residents of their workplace.

Francesca Vecchio (left) and Bethany Tooke (right) arrived back in Dereham to cheering and tambourin

Francesca Vecchio (left) and Bethany Tooke (right) arrived back in Dereham to cheering and tambourines. Picture: submitted. - Credit: Francesca Vecchio

Ms Vecchio, 21, team leader at Dorrington House Care Home, and Ms Tooke, 24, a healthcare assistant, cycled from Wells to Dereham in just two and a half hours on Saturday, raising more than £1,000.

“With the pandemic still going on,” said Ms Vecchio, “it’s not very likely our residents will be able to see their families this Christmas.”

“We wanted to make Christmas better for them, and more special.” she said, explaining that the fund will go towards presents, decorations, games and festive food.

The pair raised £1,135, with money from sponsors still coming in.


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While Ms Vecchio hadn’t been on two wheels in some time, Ms Tooke cycles daily - but even she had never done a distance that great.

“She said to me, ‘I’ll look after you and we’ll be okay.’” said Ms Vecchio.

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“It was very rainy and very windy as well.” she said. “It was horrible, and I was crying probably most of the way, but I kept thinking: it’s for the residents - and that’s what got us through it.

“Then, to see their faces waiting for us at the finish line, that made it all worth it. They were at the window waiting for us, shaking their tambourines, looking so happy.”

Ms Vecchio said Christmas would be “a really special day” at the home.

“We have a lot of older families who can’t always get to a post office to send things,” she said, “so we’ll be able to give the residents more personalised presents, and get them a bit extra at Christmas.”

Ms Vecchio praised her manager Louise Hewett, as well as the care home’s founders Steve and Lorraine Dorrington, for keeping staff well stocked with PPE and updated with government advice.

“Residents and staff get regular testing too,” she said. “They’ve looked after us really well.”

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