WE MADE IT Birkin Lodge staff complete their relay

STAFF at Birkin Lodge care home in Tunbridge Wells and Ashurst Park in Fordcombe took part in the Wishing Wheels cycle relay from one end of Britain to another last month.

The challenge, which started in the Scottish Highlands and ended on the island of Jersey, raised £24,387 for BBC Children in Need.

The route covered over 2,000 miles from Inverness to St Brelade, with cyclists totalling more than 150 employees and relatives of residents from all 71 homes run by care group brighterkind.

The ride started on October 2 and finished on November 16. The team’s mascot Buddy Bear was handed over at the end of each stage of the relay.

The West Kent section saw riders leave Sutton Valence and cycle 26 miles to the Camden Road home, then a short six-mile hop to the village of Fordcombe before a 45-mile marathon to Cossins House in Cobham.

The participants were supported by Olympic triathlon stars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee during the stage from Leeds to Heckmondwike.

The brothers support young people through the Brownlee Foundation, which encourages children to get active in any sport.

Michelle Wilson, Regional Operations Director at brighterkind, said: “We have a wishing well scheme in brighterkind homes which aims to make it possible for residents to experience something they have long wanted to try, or be taken somewhere they want to visit.

“The cycle challenge is to raise money to help make some children’s wishes come true.”