Anyone who knows Cavendish Park will know our fabulous Activities Co-ordinator, Ellie. Spend just a moment with Ellie and you’ll realise why being with residents in our memory care community, Chatsworth will never feel like work.
Alongside working with people who have dementia, Ellie has a personal connection to the cause having lost her Grandad to Alzheimer’s a few years ago. “Since losing my Grandad, I donate every month to the charity but I’ve always known I wanted to do something bigger and better to raise more money and awareness”
So when Ellie spotted Trek26 Cotswolds for the Alzheimer’s Society she was straight on the phone to Abbie, her younger sister and walking companion! Bouncing off each other with excitement they decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it!!
The Big Day – Cotswolds Trek26
Juggling work and packing for a house move that very weekend, Ellie was filled with smiles and nerves for her big Trek26 and as the day dawned, a little cloudier than hoped, the girls set off to join 500 amazing people for the big Trek26!
Unfortunately at mile 8, Abbie, who suffers with asthma had to make the super hard decision to leave the hike and let her big sister Ellie, fly solo for the remaining 18 miles!!
“At first I felt a little anxious about walking alone but I soon realised I was surrounded by so many lovely people! It felt like everyone who had stopped to check on me and Abbie whilst we waited for her to be picked up, then invited me to join their groups, it’s like there’s an unspoken community fueled by kindness”
Music and a playlist created by her residents kept Ellie motivated and especially at the top of Cleeve Hill, the tallest point in the Cotswolds, where not only did the heavens open with torrential rain but hail, thunder and lightening decided to make an appearance too!! Favourite songs filled her ears! Songs suggested and borrowed from residents, colleagues, friends, family, and her beloved Grandad – everything from ‘These Boots were made for Walking’ to ‘Walking back to Happiness’ gave Ellie that quiet supportive nudge and big hug she needed!
“It always felt like the right song came on exactly when I needed it to! I remember at a particularly low point of the Trek when my lovely resident Sheila’s favourite Niel Diamond song came on… I remember thinking, Sheilas with me, I can do this!”
Approaching the finish line.
“When I saw the one Mile left marker, I just cried with emotion and relief that I was almost there. Like magic, that’s when Beth, lovely beautiful smiley Beth’s absolute favourite song came on, “You’ll never walk alone” and I could feel everyone was with me as I powered through that last mile”
Reaching the finish line, Ellie’s partner Charlie had got stuck in traffic and her sister wasn’t quite able to get back there in time… but somehow it didn’t matter as she was enveloped in support, smiles and a big thumbs up from every fellow walker and the incredible amount of Volunteers!! Volunteers who along the way had always been there with a big smile and a wave to keep the energy flowing!!
Later that night, Ellie’s first night in her new house, when her legs and her feet no longer felt like they were hers and she settled into a hot bath… she knew just why this challenge had meant so much to her, her family and her big Cavendish Park family!!
Until next year Ellie 😉
If you’d like to donate to Ellie’s JustGiving page and show your support for the Alzheimers Society simply click here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/trek26cotswolds26miles-ellielucas
Memory Care at Cavendish Park
Our memory care community is called Chatsworth. It’s a truly wonderful place where loved ones living with dementia thrive, engage, and continue to live life as the person they always have been.