'Heartwarming' - Care homes thanks following Christmas card project
- Credit: Laurel Lodge
Youngsters across Norfolk and Waveney have helped to put beaming smiles on more than 1,600 care home residents' faces in the run up to Christmas with their beautifully designed Christmas cards.
The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News' Christmas Cards to Care Homes project has reached the residents and staff in 45 care homes by delivering 3,000 cards designed by pupils across the region.
The aim of the project was to bring Christmas cheer to residents and staff during a year where many have been unable to see loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic and has connected pupils from more than 20 schools.
Delivery of the cards began last week, with boxes of cards taken to homes based in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Eye, King's Lynn, Swaffham, Dereham and Mundesley.
Cards were quarantined by the school and again by the homes before being given to residents. Some homes have planned to save the cards for special openings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The arrival of the cards have brought big smiles from residents who have been delighted at the efforts of pupils with their personalised messages and beautiful designs.
And not content to write just one card, some pupils made residents more than one card as well as letters wishing them a Merry Christmas.
Marcia Hughes, wellbeing coordinator at Thorp House nursing home, in Griston, said: “We will be distributing the cards on Christmas Eve. It is really thoughtful and heart-warming how the children have reached out to our residents, especially at the end of what has been such a difficult year. Thank you so much.”
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Samantha Bailey, marketing manager for the Black Swan group, said staff and residents were "over the moon" to be part of the campaign which saw cards delivered to nine of its homes based in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, East Harling, King's Lynn and Hunstanton.
She said: "This year has meant our residents have missed out on activities they would usually take part in within the community, so this is a brilliant way of letting them know they are a vital part of their local communities and that people outside the home are thinking of them.
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"It means so much to us that children at local schools want to send cards to our residents, it’s such a kind and generous gesture and we cannot thank them enough. These will mean so much to our residents throughout Norfolk and are sure to put huge smiles on their faces. Thank you to Archant for organising this lovely initiative."
Stewart Barber, general manager at Eckling Grange in Dereham, said: "It's just lovely to have a sense of normality for the residents to be able to engage with children. In a year we would have a number of children coming in and out of the home. They have missed the small children, the school children, it feels like reconnecting again."
The project was supported by eight of Norfolk and Waveney's MPs who praised the idea of bringing generations together.
The full list of homes:
Eversley Nursing Home, Kirkley Manor Heron House, St Clements, Brook House, Thorp House, Downham Grange, Westfield House, Chiswick House, Nightingale, King's Lynn Residential Home, The Beeches, Laurel Lodge, Heathcote Care, Park House, York House, Docking House, Summerville House, Norfolk Lodge, Terrington Lodge, Woodside House, Ashfield Care, The Warrens, Hartismere House, Britten House, Cavell Court, Eckling Grange, Ailwyn Hall, Wyndham House, St Johns, The Paddocks, The Mayfields, Lincoln House, Woodgate Park, New Dawn Residential Home, Lilac Lodge and Cottage, Saxlingham house, Iceni House, Clarence House, Hethersett Hall, Old Vicarage, Fairhouse
The full list of schools:
Mile Cross Primary, St Georges Primary, Thompson Primary, Hempnall Primary, Angel Road Junior School, Methwold, Homefield, Brancaster Primary, St Marys Junior School, Heartwood, Roydon Primary, Rudham, Weasenham Primary, Queen's Hill, St Williams, Docking Primary, Brisley, Thomas Bullock Primary Academy, Great Ellingham, Woodton, St Faiths, Cawston.