A Newcastle-under-Lyme man has raised over £400 for key workers by running the equivalent of a half marathon around Belong, the dementia care village where they work.

Lewis Yorke, aged 27, completed 65 laps of the Belong site on Lower Street, which is also home to the Belong Heritage Gallery which pays homage to the history of the iconic building and the local community. Lewis, of Audley clocked a time of 1 hour, 45 minutes and 28 seconds over the 13.1 miles distance and managed to outrun the UK half marathon average time of 2 hours, 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

The motor paint shop worker was inspired to put on his running shoes after hearing from his partner, Sian who works at Belong, about the dedicated essential care the Belong team were providing for older people with dementia during the difficult past few months.

Lewis said: “I was taking part in the weekly Clap for Carers and decided to do something special to say thank you. Sian was working extra hard whilst Belong residents were isolating in the village, and as I was furloughed, I thought I could put my time to good use to support her and colleagues.”

With the initial donation target surpassed, a final total of £415 has been raised for Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, which operates on a not-for-profit basis. The generous contribution has been used to purchase flowers, chocolates, and gifts for the staff.

Lewis adds: “My goal was to give the Belong team a boost and to put a smile on their faces.”

Peter Norman, general manager commented: “We’re really thankful to Lewis for his efforts and to all those who have donated in support of him and our colleagues. Lewis also provided some welcome entertainment with our residents and colleagues watching him from the windows and cheering him on, it certainly helped raise spirits during this challenging time.”

Main image Back row Peter Norman, general manager (L) & Lewis Yorke, fundraiser (R). Front row – Josephine Mollison, assistant support manager (L) & Lisa Lewis, lead senior support worker.

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