This Morning and Embarrassing Bodies star visits village during cycle challenge

Dr Dawn Harper, front row centre, joined the cycling challenge
Dr Dawn Harper, front row centre, joined the cycling challenge

Residents in Faygate joined TV’s Dr Dawn Harper in a national cycling challenge.

The Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge saw a team of Inspired Villages’ senior management take on a 500-mile cycle ride, starting at its most southerly village on May 20 and ending at its most northerly village on May 24.

Inspired Villages, operators of Faygate retirement community Durrants Village, organised the event.

Residents, staff and visitors at Inspired retirement villages are being invited to make up the remaining 500 miles on static bikes, on foot, in wheelchairs and even on horseback, all to raise money for charity. TV’s Dr Dawn Harper, an advocate of staying active in later life, joined the core cycle team on the second day of the ride from Bramshott Place to Durrants Village.

The Inspired 1,000 Mile Cycle Challenge is part of Inspired Villages’ commitment to the health and wellbeing of its residents.

It has a target of £20,000 for mental health charity MIND. Durrants Village is splitting the funds it raises between MIND and Crawley charity St Catherine’s Hospice.

Durrants Village resident Jane Goodger contributed miles to the challenge. Jane was a physiotherapist for Team GB in two Olympic Games and supported Team England in the Commonwealth Games.

She said: “I only moved to Durrants two months ago and felt taking part would be a great opportunity to get involved.

“There is a variety of facilities and clubs at Durrants from water aerobics and line dancing, to learning French and playing Bridge. I am now 73 and these activities and pastimes are even more important, especially as I no longer sail or fly.”

Residents could meet Dr Harper, known for appearing on This Morning and Embarrassing Bodies, as she visited the village.

Dawn is an ambassador for Inspired Villages’ 101 Ways to Enjoy Getting Older campaign.

She added: “It’s been lovely to be a part of this challenge, not least because we have raised money and awareness for such an incredible charity.

“It’s been great to see the community in action with so many colleagues and residents at Inspired Villages taking part in this challenge.”

Jamie Bunce, chief executive of Inspired Villages, said: “We are committed to improving the physical, social and mental wellbeing of our residents across the UK. The 1,000 Mile Challenge is a fantastic way to drive forward Inspired’s health and wellbeing agenda and I look forward to putting in some miles with my Inspired colleagues and our residents as I join for 500 miles on my bike.”

To get involved see www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/events/1000-mile-challenge.

Donations to MIND can be made via Inspired’s Just Giving page. On Wednesday, June 5, Durrants Village also hosted 101 Ways to Enjoy Getting Older with Gloria Hunniford OBE, a talk with the veteran broadcaster discussing all the ways to enjoy getting older.

There was also talks by Legal and General, financial backer of Inspired Villages, about how to make the most of your retirement financially.