A Jewish Care resident who has been confined to a wheelchair had tears in his eyes as he completed a mile-long sponsored walk for the charity on Tuesday.
Cerebral palsy sufferer Matthew Kayne was greeted with balloons and champagne by staff, friends and family at the finishing point in Golders Green Road. It had taken him just under his target time of two hours to get from his home in Rela Goldhill Lodge.
Mr Kayne, 29, has been gradually learning to walk, helped by physios, over the past two years. But he had not previously walked beyond the corridors of Rela Goldhill, where he has lived since 2003. The challenge proved exhausting and he had to stop for regular breaks, water and snacks.
“I feel so proud,” he said. “It is absolutely amazing. I can’t believe I’ve done it. The support means so much to me.” He hopes to raise £10,000 for Rela Goldhill Lodge.
Managers, staff and customers of shops came out to show support — and hand over donations — as he made his way along Golders Green Road, assisted by a walking frame and physios Di Colville and Janet Hall. Fifty staff from Jewish Care’s Maurice and Vivienne Wohl campus also came out to cheer Mr Kayne as he passed the building.
Rela Goldhill residents accompanied him in wheelchairs, waving balloons and Union Jacks.
His mother, Maya, confided: “I wasn’t surprised when Matthew said he wanted to do it. He is always thinking of challenges to set himself. But he has never done anything near as hard as this. He gives his all to everything he does and this means a lot to him. It’s very hot today and it’s been hard. But he would never have given up. He is always happy, really popular. He knows every shopkeeper on Golders Green Road and they are all sponsoring him.”
Rela Goldhill manager Susan Nahum said residents were encouraged “to do some fundraising and he is the first. It’s amazing what he has achieved. Staff have been walking him up and down, practising for months. He is really dedicated to giving something back.”