The challenges faced by people shielding, or in higher-risk groups has been tough during the last year, so our Independent Living Services team wanted to add a little cheer in December.  

They decided to make Christmas gift bags full of surprises for our lovely residents to help put a smile on their faces. The team decorated the environmentally-friendly bags to be fit for the festive occasion and filled them with presents for our unexpecting recipients. 

Michelle, our Independent Living Services Manager said about the initiative: 

“They were pretty overwhelmed to receive their gift bags which included a smart phone, books, and a CD created by students from Manchester Metropolitan University. The bags also included lots of dabbers ready for our bingo games, as well as other fun activities. 

“Alongside the gifts we also provided Christmas lunches, food packages and warm blankets to make sure everyone had all they needed for the festive season. Some customers also experienced the joy of an afternoon tea. It was a truly lovely day for all and brought the spirit of Christmas to the forefront.” 

Michelle and the team received warm praise from many residents who commented on the lovely day they had and how it had spread so much joy. 

One tenant sent a message to express delight on behalf of themselves and their neighbours. 

“I just wanted to say thanks for a couple of interventions you have recently made on behalf of the tenants at Patrick Roddy Court. Before Christmas you offered tenants a Wi-Fi router and tablet and these items have made a significant and positive difference to my quality of life.  

“I have had mental health problems for long periods of my adult life and recently finished a course of therapy with the Manchester Community Mental Health team. When these sessions finished, I felt a need for some assistance to keep 'on track'. The devices you made available have allowed me to access online support much easier than would have been possible using my phone and ‘pay as you go’ data. Additionally, I have been able to keep in touch with groups and individuals much more effectively, which has lessened the isolation that we have all felt during these awful and sad times. Thanks once again for your support.” 

After a difficult year for all our customers and team, it was lovely to share some positivity amongst our communities and be reminded that we’re all in this together.