Five runners who completed the 2018 London Marathon have successfully raised over £13,000 which will go towards Encourage, the Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG) brand that encompasses its supported housing services.

Encourage works in partnership with care providers, delivering care and support services for adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues as well as extra care housing, retirement housing, community alarm and support, domestic abuse refuges and day care for people living with dementia.

One of the runners was GUHG Board member, James Macmillan, who was aiming to raise £7,000 in order to buy and install a Tovertafel (‘Magic Table’) – an innovative piece of equipment designed to encourage participation, engagement and stimulation for those living with dementia – at one of Grand Union’s supported living schemes.

James, who has been a GUHG Board Member since January 2015, hit his target the night before the Marathon. He said: “There is a Magic Table installed at Flowers House, GUHG’s specialist dementia scheme in Bletchley. It uses light projection to cast images onto a table which people sit around and interact with using their hands.

“It is remarkable to see how it fires the imagination and the smiles of people living with dementia.”

The remaining £6,000 raised will be going towards new sensory equipment for residents with a learning disability or those living with dementia.

GUHG’s Head of Independent Living, Deborah Stuart, said: “For some of our residents, they need to communicate in different ways. The additional money raised will allow us to provide specialist sensory equipment for them  in their homes which will make a real difference to their lives.

“To see people pushing themselves for such a great cause is really inspiring and we are all so grateful for their incredible efforts and fundraising.”