85-year-old Evington man takes on walking challenge

By Grace Cushnie.

David Bulbeck (85), a resident at Pilgrim Gardens care home, Evington, has taken on a 1000-mile challenge.

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Mr David Bulbeck, pictured with his progress tracker for the 1000-mile challenge

After picking up the magazine ‘Country Walking,’ Mr. Bulbeck discovered the challenge and has been sticking to it since the start of January. He plans to walk the average of 2.74 miles a day around Leicester in order to complete the challenge.

He said “I have a grandson who I want to encourage to try and get out walking, so I picked the magazine up to send to him. But I saw this 1000-mile challenge and on the back of it they have a progress tracker, which I have been using.

“I use my smart phone to track my steps, which I write down in a diary, and now I just put them onto my progress tracker.

“At the age of 85 my walking abilities are limited but working it down to an average 2.74 miles a day over 52 weeks seems to be obtainable. I suppose I’m just setting myself up for an achievable challenge.”

He added that his walks vary “from day to day. So far my maximum walk in one day is over 8 miles.”

Both his age and the pandemic act as challenges between Mr. Bulbeck and his goal. “Lockdown means that I cannot travel so far away, to go to new places to walk, meaning I have to keep to local areas. When you get to 85 you can’t always do what you want to do, your body won’t let you, but lockdown has added to the restrictions too.

Despite this, he stated “I am enjoying it so far, it’s a challenge particularly in lockdown. It gets you out – it’s not weather dependent. I can go out in all weathers; I go out in the cold and wet.”

Mandy Smith, Scheme Manager at Pilgrim Gardens, said that “David found the challenge in a walking magazine. There is a walking term, ‘Bimble.’ It’s a steady stroll at your own place. David considers himself a ‘Bimbler!’
“The challenge was aiming to reach all ages and abilities, which I believe it has; because of this article, David felt that he had permission to take on the challenge.

“He has been meeting lots of people online also doing the challenge and has found himself having conversations with places that he has never visited. He loves looking at all the pictures that they post of their walking challenge”

Student Nurses at De Montfort University hoped for more face-to-face classes

By Chloe Rowe

 Nurses have spoken out on their desire for more in-person classes after the new term began on January the 11th.

They were amongst the first students to be allowed back on campus due to their high priority, hands-on subject but after being back over a month, it seems students have not been on campus as much as they would like.

Madeline Blunt, 20, who is studying child nursing has said, “I’ve had two in person classes so far, and for this academic year I don’t think we’re having anymore.”

The problem, Miss Blunt pointed out, was that “We’re going on placement and we’ve had two practicals. So, when I go into a hospital, I haven’t had hands on experience, I’ve just watched how to do things on a computer and it’s just not enough to make you feel well equipped.”

With their work placements coming up, the nurses have said the practical and hands-on learning is essential for working in hospitals or other care-giving services.

Abigail Edgar, 18, who is studying mental health nursing has said, “I’d like it more if it were in person. They’ve shown they can have in person classes but almost all my practicals changed to being online. I’ve had maybe ten practicals but only two since I’ve been back.”

The majority of student’s courses are fully online, so this has left the campus relatively empty and yet the student nurses have still not been able to attend more in-person classes.

When asked what Miss Blunt thought of her classes she said, “Teaching is good, just wished we had more in person.”

Super six-year-old aims to walk 100 miles in a month

By Damian Chilton

A dedicated six-year-old boy inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore is in the process of walking an extraordinary 100 miles in one month for the Captain Tom Foundation.

Toby Taylor, from Thurmaston, Leicester, has already walked 59 miles of his 100-mile target, walking more than four miles a day along with his mum Sarah. 

Determined: Toby Taylor on one of his daily walks

Despite being only halfway through the month, Toby has already raised an amazing £1,210 for the charity, smashing his original goal of £250.

Toby said: “I want to help the doctors and the hospitals.”

He added that Captain Tom was his hero and someone who inspired him. 

Sarah, 28, keeps track of Toby’s miles using an app called ‘MapMyRun’ to get an accurate measurement on their walk.

They stay local on their walks, often walking through areas such as Houghton and Thurnby Lodge, and often uploading pictures to their Facebook page.

Mum-of-two Sarah said tat they have received a lot of support with donations and awareness, with several social media users playing their part in sharing the story.

She confirmed that Toby’s terrific idea caught the attention of BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell and television’s Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood who both showed their support to Toby through Twitter.

Toby was inspired to take up his challenge after taking part in the 35-mile ‘race at your own pace’ event during lockdown with his mum.

Sarah said: “Toby coped fine with the event, he has always been active.

“He originally completed 10 miles and then, because of lockdown, had to complete 35 miles with myself which he found no problem.”

Toby’s hero Sir Captain Tom died on Tuesday, February 2, at the age of 100 after making global headlines for walking 100 lengths of his garden in order to raise money for the NHS during the first lockdown period. 

Despite being only six years old, Toby has not been affected by having to walk 25 miles each week in order to reach his objective, showing no signs of slowing down, and keeping to his routine of at least four miles a day.

After raising a large amount of money for the foundation already, Toby said: “Thank you to everyone who has donated.”

Anyone can donate to Toby’s 100-mile challenge by accessing the go fund me link below.

Updates on Toby’s progress can also be found on their Facebook page ‘Toby’s 100 miles in 1 month’ 

The Leicester toy shop that ‘can’t sit still’ during lockdown

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Joe (left) and Gavin (right) pictured in the store surrounded by their vast toy collection

By Jessica Smith

Leicester’s Vintage and Old Toy Shop, just outside of Highcross Shopping centre, is managing to keep busy this lockdown, with frequent Facebook Livestreams, a thriving Youtube channel and online sales.

Gavin Pate, 44, and Joe Hand, 44, owners of the well-established shop have been working hard behind the scenes during the country’s third lockdown, with hopes to reopen to the public again soon.

“We cant sit still – we’ve painted the shutters, made a film for Amazon Prime, A toy store near you, expanded the basement, and moved lots of our work online.

“This lockdown has made us work harder, and aged us tremendously. But our social media has exploded, we get around 50 messages a day from sellers and buyers.” Stated Joe.

The business has made the move to the virtual world, with a website, successful Youtube channel with over 1.15 thousand subscribers, and regular Facebook livestreams, to maintain the relationship with their customers. The old toy traders were open 6 days a week, 10am-4pm before the lockdown was imposed, but they’ve transitioned seamlessly into the online.

“We’ve created a Facebook sales page specifically for customers, and a ‘toy of the day’ post, because we try to be friends with our customers – we’ve even had to have frank conversations with customers about a lack of personal hygiene!” Mentioned Gavin, the technical backbone of the shop.

The pair currently have no date set in mind to reopen, relying on government guidance, but for now they maintain contact with their beloved customers online, making COVID-friendly adaptions to the shop, but sadly they have also lost friends and family to the illness.

Derby-born Joe says he has been shielding since March, with regular hospital visits for his poorly son, but still manages to maintain the presence of the shop online, preparing the shop for reopening.

“The shop has improved dramatically over time, due to myself and Gavin’s hard work, and we’re lucky to have some very loyal and supportive customers. We like to make it like time machine, making people gasp when they walk in.”

Fondly recalling their own favourite vintage toys, Joe stated, “The 3-inch Fisher Price adventure people, they’re weird but I love them.”

Joe’s all-time favourite is the 80’s classic Madball foam balls, sculpted to resemble grotesque zombies and mummies.

The pair look forward to reopening, but you can keep up with the latest toy sales and ‘toy of the day’ through their website, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook sales page and YouTube channel.

Age UK Oadby & Wigston to close after over 50 years of providing support to elderly

By Jessica Smith

Age UK Oadby and Wigston, a charity who have been offering services supporting the elderly for over 50 years, have made the decision to cease operation from April 30, reporting significant financial losses due to the pandemic.

The independent charity offer delivery services and activities for older people, such as exercise classes and a ‘knit and natter’ sessions will transfer it’s responsibilities to Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland.

Garry Burnside, the centre manager, stated: “The charity receives some funding from AgeUK England and some from Oadby and Wigston Borough Council providing about 15 – 20% of the charity’s running costs (approximately £16,000 per month running costs).”  

The rest the charity raises through it’s own activities and service work, such as autumn fayre’s and it’s coffee bar, but sadly they say have been unable to return from the huge blow the pandemic has had upon their finances.

Chairman of trustees at Age UK Oadby and Wigston Jill Gore, who has been the chairperson for nearly 25 years, stated: “These are unprecedented times and we will be working as hard as we can to ensure that older people know where they can turn for support.”

She thanked staff and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the charity, acknowledging how upsetting the decision has been for staff and the community alike.

She also wanted to remind the community of the still available support from the Age UK national advice line, a lifeline in times when human contact is restricted.

Mr Burnside emphasised that lockdown only exacerbated the charities issues, saying: “ As of February 2020, our day care provision became fully booked, room hire and activity participation was increasing, revenue from the shop was improving and our restaurant café was competing competitively in the market. However, the charity was still losing around £6,000 per month. But the restrictions from COVID-19 were catastrophic.”

Donations to the AgeUK charity can be made via post/phone, and their eBay store as well as via telephone, to 0800 077 8751 or post, to FREEPOST AGE UK REPLY.