Seven-year-old Phoebe Nelmes and her ten-year-old brother Mason love visiting Penberthy in Newquay. Their mum Patricia is a senior carer who has worked full-time at the home for the last sixteen years. The children even got to spend Christmas Day 2019 there – handing out presents to residents alongside their dad, Gareth, who was dressed as Santa.
Lockdown has meant such visits are temporarily on hold but, keen to show their elderly friends have not been forgotten, Phoebe and Mason have embarked on a mission to walk 154 miles during their allocated daily exercise time – the distance from Plymouth to Land’s End on the South West Coast Path. Actually walking the route isn’t possible at the moment of course, so they are walking four to five miles each day around Newquay and the surrounding area instead.
“The children love walking and are very active, so this seemed a very good way of fundraising for their elderly friends at Penberthy whilst getting some fresh air and exercise,” said Patricia. “They were also inspired by Mia Richardson who is raising funds for Blackwood, another Cornwall Care home in Camborne. Like her, they would love to help buy a magic table for residents – an interactive light projector that has been specially designed for people with dementia.
“We home school from 9 to 12 each day, have lunch and then set off on our daily expedition. It’s great family time and we all enjoy exploring.”
Miles walked are carefully recorded on various apps, including Strava.
“Before lockdown, I used to go to lifesaving club every Thursday evening and I miss swimming and surfing,” said Mason. “Going out every afternoon is good.”
His sister loves the adventure too.
“We get to discover places we’ve never been to before,” said Phoebe. “My favourite thing so far is finding dancing caterpillars and seeing a seal.”
Cornwall Care is a charity that looks after around 650 people in sixteen homes across the county.
“What Phoebe and Mason are doing is wonderful,” said CEO Anne Thomas. “I wish them well with their walk – the money raised is certainly going to an excellent cause.”
The children are hoping to end their trek on 30 May – Phoebe’s eighth birthday.
To donate, visit the website. Updates on the children’s progress can also be seen on Facebook @trishnelmes