Ridge House team go on 86-mile trek for minibus fund

Walkers who took part in the event
Walkers who took part in the event

AN army of staff, volunteers and pensioners at a sheltered home for the elderly raised more than £4,000 by walking from St Leonards to St Albans.

The team of 15, two of whom live at Ridge House in Boscobel Road, took nine days to reach the Hertfordshire town. The 86-mile trek this month was in aid of a new minibus for residents.

They had already raised £2,000 in sponsorship before setting off on the mammoth trek but have now added the extra £4,000 to the fundraising pot, which continues to rise.

The group walked to the St Albans headquarters of Abbeyfield, which owns Ridge House. Many who took part belong to Hasting Ramblers Association and devised the route so it would pass a number of Abbeyfield-owned homes.

They were greeted by actor Geoffrey Palmer, former broadcaster Richard Baker, Paul Allen, chief executive officer of Abbeyfield, and staff at the charity’s head office.

Ian McNulty, house manager at Ridge House, who organised the trek, said: “It’s been absolutely wonderful. Our oldest walker is soon turning 84 and our youngest is 45, so we had a good variety.

“We met a lot of people along the way asking who we were and what we were doing so it’s definitely raised the profile of Abbeyfield.

“The weather was absolutely fantastic and I never thought in April we would get this much sun.”

The minibus is likely to cost more than £25,000 in total and is to be used for residents’ outings, shopping trips and transport for doctor and hospital appointments.