Fulfilled living in later life
Luff House crosses the finishing line

Thursday 9th May 2024

Luff House crosses the finishing line

We caught up with Ruth, Activities and Community Engagement (ACE) Facilitator at Luff House in Walton-on-the-Naze, about completing the home’s '30 miles over 30 days' challenge for The Pilgrimage, with funds raised going towards the work of the Hummingbirds and activities at the home

It's been an absolute joy to go out with our family members. They notice all the prettiness of the Spring around them and, as predicted, having my dog Dudley accompany us on some occasions proved a hit.

We’ve had some lovely mutual conversations. It’s like the stimulation of getting out and about has the power to activate something in the brain. We have a lady living with us, Gillian, who is very chatty when we go out, more so than usual. It’s not just me asking the questions – she’ll ask me things too.

Doing this challenge has really brought home to me the benefits of walking and talking. It’s so much easier to talk to someone than when you’re sitting looking at each other face-to-face.

Lots of carers and volunteers have been joining in as well. Our Hummingbirds Vanessa and Tina have been regulars. Menna, one of our kitchen assistants, came along one day and had a lovely time with Eileen. Doing this challenge has really helped to build links across the home.

We’ve also met some nice people along the way. Lots of our family members are dog people and so enjoy seeing all the dogs out with their owners. Everyone has been commenting how nice it is to see us enjoying ourselves.

Pilgrims Friend Luff House Pilgrimage3
Pilgrims Friend Luff House Pilgrimage1
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One lady living with us, Mellany, used to be a member of The Motorcycle Club. My husband has a motorbike and so one day when I knew he’d be out on our drive cleaning it I took Mellany to see him. She was very interested and it brought back memories of her motorcycling days.

Yvonne has been one of the most enthusiastic participants. She’ll always ask me ‘when can we go again?’ She’s been out many times. I had lots of the photos from our walks printed out and Yvonne enjoyed looking at them so much she has taken several to her room.

We’re so grateful to everyone who has supported us. Word has spread and it’s wonderful that members of our wider community have been supporting us too. Two local community groups have pledged to make a donation.

Pilgrims Friend Luff House The Pilgrimage Mellany cropped

I’ve been surprised by was how easy it was to organise. We had one rainy day and one windy day when we couldn’t go but other than that it was plain sailing. The final day was a bit drizzly but by then we’d already clocked up our 30 miles and so we did a shorter walk before our triumphant crossing over the finishing line.

We’ll definitely carry on doing these walks as often as we can. It’s clear how big an impact something as simple as going on a walk can have.

The donation page for the challenge at Luff House is still open:

Could you sign up for The Pilgrimage? For details, visit: www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/pilgrimage

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