Palliative care patients have almost conquered Ben Nevis twice in a lockdown challenge alongside their own personal health battles.
The patients who normally attend the gentle exercise group in the Macmillan Day Care at Dundee’s Roxburghe House have not seen each other since coronavirus restrictions came into place.
Despite their own personal situations, the group responded with enthusiasm to a target set by senior physiotherapist Jennifer Baines to walk the 17,000 metre journey it would normally take to climb Britain’s highest mountain.
Once a week the patients send Jennifer their step count for her to calculate how far they have all travelled.
In just four weeks, they managed to cover a distance of 32,000 metres and are showing no signs of stopping.
Jennifer said, “I was really keen to set up a challenge to keep these vulnerable people with long term conditions as active as possible during this time.
“By week two they had managed to reach half the distance, and by week four we are now at 32,000 metres.
“I was overwhelmed by the response. Our patients have been so enthusiastic and so keen to take part.
“Many of them have not seen anyone for over eight weeks now. This challenge is allowing people to be active in a safe way during lockdown. This is so valuable, both physically and psychologically.
“They still have to hit their climb challenge, which I’ve set at 9,000 steps. They’re currently on 1,000 so they are keeping busy.”
Helen Money, 79, who is taking part, said, “It is wonderful that in spite of the situation we are in, that we have this challenge to take part in.
“I am so happy to be taking part. It’s something to take our mind off of everything that is happening and it is keeping us active.”