Residents and staff at a Salisbury care home have “followed in the footsteps” of singing duo The Proclaimers and walked more than 500 miles to raise funds for charity.
Over 31 days, walkers at the city’s Braemar Lodge completed enough routes around their garden to match the entire distance from Salisbury to their namesake village of Braemar.
The challenge took residents, although virtually, 500 miles to Royal Deeside – and then 255 miles back.
One of the residents, Kay Callow, was praised for coming top of the class by achieving the most miles among all who took part in the initiative.
Ms Callow clocked up 10 miles by completing 101 laps of the care home garden and three laps of Victoria Park, which lies opposite Braemar Lodge across Stratford Road.
She said: “The challenge was inspiring and I went walking every day to ensure we reached our goal.”
Walking 500 miles for a good cause
The initiative has raised more than £500 for Salisbury-based social enterprise The Pantry Partnership.
The charity creates meals from food that would otherwise go to waste with the help of volunteers who collect, grow and prepare it to then share them across the community.
In a message to the home, founder of the Pantry Partnership Fiona Ollerhead described the walking initiative as a “fabulous feat” and thanked all residents for their support.
She said: “We love how you have embraced the virtualness of a lockdown fundraiser.
“We are honoured by your amazing work and support.
“I think you must all be considered as Salisbury’s very own Sir Captain Toms.”
As well as signage in the Braemar Lodge garden, residents created a map on a pop-up banner showing the virtual route up to Braemar.
Walkers’ progress was shown against four stages, with city “checkpoints” in Birmingham, Manchester, Carlisle and Edinburgh guiding the way.
Home manager Alison Bremner explained the challenge was a fantastic way to get both residents and staff involved for a good cause.
“Our Braemar-to-Braemar challenge was fantastic and a huge success”, Ms Bremner said.
“We exceeded both our fundraising and mileage goals and it was a great way to encourage everyone to enjoy being outside in the spring weather and have something to work towards that involved both staff and residents.
“Just like The Proclaimers, our residents proved they were only too happy to walk 500 miles.”
“Warm praise” from Royal Deeside
The Braemar-to-Braemar challenge has gained warm praise from staff and residents at Craigard House in Ballater – the nearest care home to the village.
Craigard House managing director Stephen Cowie said he was “delighted” that they picked “beautiful Royal Deeside” as their destination.
He said: “All our staff and residents were delighted to learn that Braemar Lodge had chosen our beautiful area of Royal Deeside as their destination.
“We would like to extend our congratulations and admiration to the staff and residents of Braemar Lodge for their fantastic achievement of completing their Braemar-to-Braemar 500-mile virtual walk.”