The launch of ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’, a local gift giving scheme for isolated older people in Felixstowe, has been so successful that organisers, Home Instead Senior Care, are already making plans to roll it out again next year.
The Be a Santa to a Senior gift-giving scheme saw Home Instead, who provide care to older people in their own homes, join forces with a number of local church groups, social services and charities including Leading Lives, The Felixstowe Old Peoples Welfare Association, The Salvation Army and HOPE Trust, in order to identify local older people who otherwise might not receive a gift at Christmas. Working closely with Marks and Spencers in Felixstowe the team organised a ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ Christmas tree to be displayed in store on the 7th and 8th December. The tree was decorated with gift tags made out to local seniors and included the types of gifts older people would welcome. Generous members of the community were able to pick a gift tag and donate that particular item.
Chris Lye of Home Instead commented, “Local schemes like ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ are so important, as they allow us to reach out to older people in our community who, perhaps, don’t receive as many visitors as our clients and who would really appreciate knowing that local people are thinking about them at Christmas time".
“I am absolutely delighted with the way in which members of the local Felixstowe community have really taken ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ into their hearts and worked together to make it happen. We were hoping that we might receive 40 presents from passing shoppers but in just two days we received more than 150 presents! I was blown away with the generosity of the M&S shoppers, their contribution will make a real difference to the lives of local older people".
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Marks & Spencers in Felixstowe who made the purchase of gifts possible and to Jackie O’Mahoney and Carole Locke from Leading Lives for their help in identifying older people who may really benefit from this scheme.”
Chris and his colleague Gill, have already delivered a selection of the beautifully wrapped gifts to seniors from the Queens Road Day Centre and will be making their rounds to the other local organisations on their list, just in time for Christmas!