Supporting Our Nautical Neighbours With A Marathon Effort

19th April 2024

When a local runner pledged her support for the Wallingford Accessible Boat Club by running the London Marathon, the team and residents at neighbouring Benson House Care Home were keen to back her effort.

A Chance to Enjoy the Countryside by River

Benson House is situated in a picturesque location at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, surrounded by the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and bordered by the river Thames. Exploring the natural world by river is a wonderful way to experience the great outdoors, and Benson House is fortunate to have the Wallingford Accessible Boat Club (WABC) as a close neighbour – right across the river, to be exact.

WABC was created by John Jenkins MBE, who grew up on the river in nearby Wallingford, and loved the countryside and the waterways. Always a passionate advocate of disabled people’s rights to participate in sport and outdoor activities, John retired in Wallingford. As a full-time wheelchair user, he was keen to get out onto the river again but found that opportunities to do that were non-existent. His response was to set up the Wallingford Accessible Boat Club so that less able-bodied people would be able to enjoy all the river has to offer.

Running to Support Access to Boating for All

The boat is currently moored on the river Thames at Benson Waterfront and residents had the pleasure of using it on several occasions last year. When the team and residents found out that local runner, Abi Turner, was fundraising for the WABC by competing in the London Marathon, there was great deal of enthusiasm for supporting Abi’s endeavour on behalf of our riverside neighbour.

As a result, a donation was made by Benson House and officially handed to the WABC by some of the residents in the form of a giant cheque. The presentation event at Benson House was attended by Abi herself, and members of the club including Chairman John Jenkins – sporting a jaunty captain’s hat for photos - who told everyone how grateful he and the club were for the donation and that it would make a difference in their work. Meanwhile Abi thanked all at Benson House for their support and promised to make a return visit wearing her marathon finisher’s medal!

A River Trip Brings Pleasure to Residents

Benson House’s Customer Relations Manager, Jim Macleod, explained how important it is for residents to be able to continue to enjoy getting out and about, and that the WABC was an important part of doing just that.

Jim added “We were delighted to be able to sponsor Abi and help her to reach her target for the London Marathon. Having had the opportunity to use the boat on several occasions last year, it was wonderful to see the positive effect it had on our residents and the joy on their faces, and we look forward to many more trips with the Wallingford Accessible Boat Club this year.”

Discover Benson House Care Home

Benson House is a purpose-built, luxury care home which provides residential, nursing and specialist dementia care. Set within landscaped gardens, the home offers numerous activities, plenty of space and tranquil surroundings where you can relax or welcome friends and family. If you would like to learn more about the types of care and services available from Caring Homes, please visit our website page. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to learn more.

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