Residents get set for Olympic countdown with charity marathon

Neil Mason (front), Pauline Bayley and Derek Dymond warming up for the Olympic challenge in the gym at the West End older people’s village in Stoke.

Residents from three older person’s housing developments are gearing up for the Olympics with a marathon relay.

The marathon, organised by Staffordshire Housing Association, will begin on Wednesday, 27 July – exactly a year to the day to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Staffordshire Housing Association is encouraging residents at the West End, Rowan and Bradeley villages to get involved in the event and to raise money for charity through sponsorship.

The three villages are home to around 400 residents aged 55 and over. Each has a well equipped gym and participants will be encouraged to use equipment such as treadmills, bikes and rowing machines to clock up the 159 mile distance from SHA’s headquarters in London Road, Stoke, and Olympic Park, east London.

The total miles covered by residents will be displayed on a mileometer in each older peoples’ village. A second display will show how the fund raising drive is progressing.

Diane Lea, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Housing Association, said: “Many people, including me, are looking forward to the UK hosting the Olympics next year and we wanted to mark the countdown to the opening ceremony.

“Lots of our residents already use the gym facilities at the village to keep fit and this will hopefully give them an incentive to keep exercising as they work together to clock up the miles and raise money for good causes.”

For further information contact Sandra Barber on 01782 744533.

Notes to Editors:

The event will be done as a relay, starting with residents of West End Village –

• West End Village residents will each travel one third of the 159 miles each over 122 days. (Starting 27 July 27 and finishing Saturday 22 October)
• On day 123, Rowan Village residents will take up the baton, and will each travel one third of the 159 miles. (This will start on 23 October and run until 24 January, 2012)
• On day 245, Bradeley Village residents will take over and will each travel the final one third of the 159 miles. (This will start on 25th January and run until the 27th July 2012)

West End Village, Stoke, Rowan Village, Meir and Bradeley Village all offer older Stoke-on-Trent residents the chance to live independently in their own apartments while having the peace of mind provided by staff on call 24 hours a day and the companionship of other residents if they choose to use the communal facilities provided by SHA.

SHA is a housing association committed to building a better future for local communities. Established in 1984, SHA provide a huge range of tenant services including maintenance, tenancy support, estate management and gardening, as well as essential guidance on income management, money advice and benefits assessments. They are committed to improving live in Staffordshire through regeneration, supported housing, older people’s villages, key worker homes and a rolling programme of home improvements. Their subsidiary company, Blue Mountain Housing Association, also work closely with refugee and local BME communities to provide essential support with healthcare, education, training and employment as well as access to quality housing.