Born out of a simple intention to offset loneliness and deteriorating wellness with ‘kindness across distance’, December saw Willowthorpe Care Home in Stanstead Abbotts be chosen to take part in an initiative, titled ‘Christmas Cheer’.
Recognising the impact and extent of the restrictive challenges laid out by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Katharine Ellacott – whose Father-in-Law once lived at Willowthorpe – donated a selection of personalised presents to the home and lensed ‘the surprise’ as part of an initiative video.
“The day itself was wonderful, and very emotional,” said Nicola Mead, Willowthorpe Care Home Manager.
She continued: “The residents were surprised and completely overwhelmed at Katharine’s generosity. But most importantly, it was a shared experience, and although residents couldn’t see their loved ones, we celebrated the occasion as an extended family. For many, this will be a forever memory.”
When asked by a member of staff about how they felt after unwrapping their gifts, one resident commented: “I can’t remember a nicer Christmas time.”
In the UK alone there are nine million lonely people with four million of them being older people [Campaign to End Loneliness: January 2021], and as a way of responding to these figures, as well as the difficulties seen across the care sector in restricting visits from friends and loved ones, this video addresses the act of altruism and the essence of simply ‘making a connection’ – and the lasting effects of doing so.