40 older people living in nursing homes are taking part in activities such as wheelchair abseiling, snake handling and eating cheesy cockroaches and chocolate-covered ants this week. Extralife Challenge is a pilot event to attract corporate sponsorship for three similar fundraising events next year. Inspired by the popular ITV series 'I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here', the event runs until Friday at the Calvert Trust's activity centre in Devon. It was organised by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, which runs 36 nursing homes and helps 2,000 residents with dementia through its Enriched Activities Programme. "These activities are an extension of methods we successfully use to help older people improve sleep patterns, mobility and continence wellbeing," said Steve Crump, the trust's assistant director of fundraising. It has invited 140 companies to attend this week's challenge to try to secure £60,000 sponsorship for three similar weeks next March, and is talking to TV channels about broadcasting them.

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