I’m running to raise £40,000 to support our charity’s vital care, well-being and dementia services because I believe in creating better lives for older people.
Every penny I raise in sponsorship will go to ExtraCare to help us support older people to enjoy a better, safer and happier future.
Over 25 years ago my mum suddenly passed away, she never made it to retirement. My dad did, but, at the age of 86, he now lives with Alzheimer's, a dementia diagnosis which is robbing him of a happy retirement. I see every day how frustrated he can get, and how his physical and mental frailty affects the quality of life for him as well as for those of us who care and worry about him.
Around the time that my dad first started having memory problems, I began working for ExtraCare, a charity that builds, operates and supports retirement villages for older people regardless of their health and wealth.
I often visit our retirement villages and have a chance to speak to the people living and working there. I’m lucky enough therefore to gradually learn what makes a ‘good’ old age. And, perhaps surprisingly, it’s not all about status, possessions, money or even physical fitness, although they do help. It’s about a sense of belonging, a sense of being needed and valued, it’s about being able to try out new things and experiences, it’s about having meaningful relationships and about being comfortable and safe enough to be your own person.
Every day I meet people who tell me moving into an ExtraCare village has changed their lives. People who are inquisitive and find fulfilment in volunteering and learning new skills. People who have lost their partner and find comfort in the company of their neighbours and friends. People who need care and find security in the knowledge care is on hand. People who find their ‘old age’ is spent surrounded by friends and activity and by comfort and security.
We offer affordable rent apartments as well as ones for sale, either shared ownership or outright ownership.
We offer mental and physical health support including support for those living with dementia.
We also provide on-site care to all those who need it, including those who can’t afford to pay the full cost themselves.
Many of the services we offer make a loss so we continually need to raise funds to keep them going and also to fund new services we want to introduce, like end of life care which we’re just starting to offer in our villages.
I decided to run the 2019 London Marathon to raise awareness of the issues older people like my dad face, and to raise funds for ExtraCare. I’ve never run a marathon before, I’m going to struggle to find the time to put enough training in, but I’m determined to finish and I’m hoping to join those friends who have run marathons and finished in under four hours!
Thank you for reading my story, and please donate. Every penny I raise in sponsorship will go to ExtraCare to help us support older people to enjoy a better, happier retirement.
For further information, contact our Fundraising Team: