Sam Handley started working at Gorseway Park’s care and nursing home in Hayling Island as a health care assistant at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
In aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, Sam – now a dementia team leader at the home – completed a 26.4 mile that raised a staggering £800, smashing his initial fundraising target of £300.
Sam said: ‘I’ve never done any kind of fundraising like this before, but it’s built on a passion from seeing dementia and the effect it has on people, their lives and families first hand.
‘I originally got the fundraising idea from an advert on Instagram and would urge anyone to have a go if they’re passionate about something.
‘A year ago I never thought I would be working in a care environment, let alone with dementia. I had no experience at all and no idea what to expect, but care homes were being hit hard so I knew it was the right decision to find a job in care, knowing they needed staff during such a difficult time.’
The Hayling Island care and nursing home is run by Agincare, which employs more than 3,500 staff across more than 50 locations.
Last week, Sam was presented with a Covid Hero medal, awarded to all staff at Gorseway Park nursing and residential home by Agincare in recognition of their incredible efforts during the pandemic.
He hopes to soon scale Mount Snowdon to further boost fundraising efforts.
Sam said: ‘Originally I did the Hayling Island Loop to fundraise at Gorseway Park but more and more people started donating too.’
Deputy manager Colette Knight said: ‘Sam is a remarkable young man, who has a natural gift for care and has progressed incredibly at Gorseway Park in the short time he’s been with us.
‘He’s been so modest about his amazing fundraising bike ride for the Alzheimer’s Society and we’re all so proud of what he’s achieved.’
To visit Sam’s fundraising page people can go to justgiving.com/fundraising/thehaylingloopfundraiser.