A WINCHFIELD hospital, which cares for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, hosted a charity triathlon with staff, patients and visitors.

Vista Healthcare, in Odiham Road, was the venue for the final leg of the triathlon, which was held over a period of three weeks.

The event was held to raise money for charities Vista Health-care Foundation Trust – the charitable arm of the company – and Challengers, which supports disabled children aged between four and 25.

Over the three events – each held a week apart to give those taking part a chance to recover – a total of 1,850 metres were swum, more than 46 miles cycled, and more than 80 miles run.

Doreen McCollin, chief executive of Vista Healthcare, said: “The open day was a huge success with an unprecedented number of service users and staff taking part in the triathlon, which required weeks of preparation and organisation. As a hospital, we must have the fittest group of service users.”

The final run took place at the hospital’s annual open day, which also included the opening of a sensory garden, a tennis table tournament and a cake stall as well as paint bombing, face painting and the awards ceremony for the triathlon.

Lucy Sharma, community fundraising manager for Challengers, said: “It’s fantastic to work alongside an organisation which similarly values the importance of fun and encouraging individuals to reach their full potential.

“For disabled individuals, these opportunities are all too often impossible to access, which is precisely what we aim to remedy through our play and leisure projects across the South-East.”