CARE and nursing homes from across the Keighley district came together for a marathon with a difference.

Around 120 residents and staff from 13 homes gathered at Church Green in the town, together aiming to cover the equivalent of the marathon distance – 26.2 miles.

Participants ran, walked or were pushed in wheelchairs around the perimeter of the grass, completing 100-metre laps.

When final distances were calculated, results showed that the mileage accumulated amounted to four-and-a-half marathons.

The event was opened by Keighley town mayor, Councillor John Kirby.

And there was a variety of entertainment.

Haworth Band performed, followed by the Voices of Yorkshire choir, directed by Nick Ingram.

Keighley Ukulele Orchestra – under the direction of Damian Curran – also performed, and was joined at the finish by Mike and Cath Harney on guitars.

Members of Keighley St Andrew’s Parish Church provided a 'resting space' and refreshments, and many parishioners had baked cakes and biscuits for the event.

Suzie Ramsbottom, from Asda in Keighley, set up a hydration station providing juice, water and biscuits for participants. Plus, Morrisons and Sainsbury's donated chocolates, which were arranged into gift hampers by Southams of Haworth to be raffled off.

The original idea for the event was conceived by Susan Querstret, activities co-ordinator at Norwood House Nursing Home in Keighley.

In 2023, she signed up Norwood House to take part in an initiative with Bradford Voluntary Community Sector Alliance.

Through that, Dementia Friendly Keighley volunteers Lesley Ord and Karen Scanlan were assigned to meet with activity co-ordinators at participating homes to help them build connections with each other and the wider community.

As a result, the pair and Susan combined to bring the marathon to fruition.

They said: "The event was a huge success, showing the community that our care home residents are active, respected and valued members of society.

"Together the care homes raised over £100 for Dementia Friendly Keighley – plus hundreds of pounds through sponsorships, a raffle and donations for their residents’ activities funds.

"Jagjit Chaggar, a director from Norwood House, made a speech saying every year we will get together as a community and celebrate what we do collectively. He recognises the importance of acknowledging what we do as a community and celebrating the richness our care home residents bring to society.

"Many of the homes that participated have already said they're looking forward to next year’s marathon!"