Over the Christmas period we successfully delivered Christmas parcels to elderly individuals across South Cheshire and Vale Royal that were identified through our Alternative Solutions Service as socially isolated.
The aim of Cheshire Christmas Elves for the Elderly project was to reaching out into our local communities of South Cheshire and Vale Royal, in the hope to deliver some christmas cheer for those elderly residents who are less fortunate, and who’s Christmas may not be filled with the love and warmth of having family and friends around them.
Thank you to the generous individuals, local businesses such as Bentley Motors crewe, Pathways CIC staff and the members of Good Gym Crewe for donating wonderful gifts and shoeboxes for the cause, in addition to the Children at Beechwood Primary School in Crewe who created wonderful Christmas Cards to go alongside our shoeboxes.
Pathways CIC staff volunteered to support the project, from contacting clients, wrapping and prepping shoeboxes to delivering the gifts on the day.
One member of staff said
" I found the day to have been a mixture of emotions, I went into this expecting it to be all joyous and uplifting, although many aspects of it were, however, I drive past these houses regularly and it was a real eye opener that you certainly don't know what goes on behind a closed door.
We met with many people, and all were taken back and extremely thankful to have been given a gift, some were tearful and overwhelmed, however the real gift was the time spent talking to them and just being there to listen.
The one key theme that we identified was isolation, a lot of their loved ones had passed away, where in care homes, or poorly with dementia and never returning home. You felt their loneliness or heartache, it was extremely touching. Some clients were doing their best to get through the day, making positive changes i.e. going on 5 mile walks in the morning, taking part in new activities like piano lessons, dance classes. Others struggling with social anxiety, ill health or motivation with limited contact with anyone at all.
I have worked at Pathways for nearly 10 years, and yesterday was one of the most rewarding and moving days that I have experienced. I listen to difficult issues on a regular basis, but seeing it was on a different level. I would definitely encourage and recommend anyone to take part next year, a little something goes a long way, and I am certain I won't forget this experience."
We certainly had an emotional yet successful day, so much so as an organisation we want to be able to deliver the project again Christmas 2020 but on an even larger scale so keep your eyes peeled for further details over the course of the year. Please do get in touch if you wish to get involved.
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