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Resident: Rhoda Gourlay's Story

The people living in our homes are amazing people with fascinating pasts, who continue to do amazing things.

63 year-old Rhoda, who lives at Drummond Grange Care Home in Edinburgh, is registered blind and has cerebral palsy. Yet she hasn’t let that stop her raising over £1,000 for charity by challenging herself to cycle an astounding 412 miles on cycling machine in the physiotherapy room at Drummond Grange.

Rhoda began her cycling challenge on 14th March 2016 and her target was to cycle the distance from Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace. She completed the challenge on 16th August.

When she started, her average speed was 3 miles an hour and by the end she was cycling at 4/5 miles per hour. The challenge has had a huge impact on her fitness, as well as her confidence, and she has been an inspiration to everyone who lives and works at the home. 

The idea for the cycle was suggested by Rhoda’s physiotherapist Gerard Fox, and his assistant Greig Wilson, who knew how much she wanted to do something big for charity.

The cycle raised more than £1,000 for for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, a charity that helps older people and other adults with a disability across England, Scotland and Wales by offering grants of up to £5,000. 

Rhoda from Drummond Grange nursing home about to start her challenge

Rhoda and she has been keeping a diary about her experience. In it she says: “My first few days [of training] were quite strange. I rely on voices and touch to help me around the home and I was taken out of my familiar surroundings and comfort zone when I started this challenge.”

Yet despite the physical and emotional trials involved, this fundraising challenge is bringing Rhoda great pleasure. She says: “Having a purpose in my life again helps me to stay calm and relaxed. It brings me immense joy to be able to cycle again.”

Eleanor Wilson, General Manager at Drummond Grange Care Home said: “What Rhoda is setting out to achieve is amazing and she’s a real inspiration to all of us. She’s always looking for ways to help raise money for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, which is why she’s the home’s ‘Foundation Champion’, but this is without a doubt her biggest challenge yet! Everyone at the home is very excited about cheering her on when she starts her journey on 14th March.”

Anyone who wishes to can sponsor Rhoda online here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RhodaGourlay