Durham care home gift Christmas hampers to Veterans in local communityHC-One homes across the north of England have organised a hamper initiative, that saw representatives from the homes hand out hampers in the local community, to  combat loneliness, isolation and bring a smile to people’s faces this Christmas. 

Residents and Staff at the St Margarets care home in Durham wanted to ensure that Military Veterans were not forgotten during this festive period. The home reached out to Andrew Camiss at the East Durham Veterans Trust to help identify individuals who needed something positive to brighten up their Christmas.  

St Margarets care home surprised Michael Richardson, Chris Dinning, John Burgess, Ken & Joan Wardle and Derek Bland on the 16th December with the delivery of some wonderful Christmas hampers. They were overjoyed with the gifts which helped them feel remembered and appreciated during the festive season.
Chris Dinning who previously served in the RAF said: “That’s so kind, I really appreciate it. It’s made me smile after a very difficult year in which I lost my son.”

Derek Bland, who previously served in the Royal Artillery said: “This is such a wonderful surprise after a terrible year, I lost my wife this year on our 68th wedding anniversary.”

Joan whose husband is a 90 year old Army Veteran said: “Thank you to all the Residents for our lovely present and Merry Christmas”. 

Michael who is currently suffering from Cancer said: “That’s so kind and a wonderful surprise, thank you.”

John found it difficult to talk gave a huge smile and thumbs up.

St. Margaret’s Home Manager, Katherine Swainston said: “We wanted to thank our Veterans for their service and share some Christmas kindness.  The Residents and staff are delighted that those who have received the hampers will be keeping in touch via our pen pal scheme and hopefully get to meet in person in the future.  We also want to thank everyone who has shown our Residents and staff kindness throughout the year”. 

Area Director, Lynn Maddison said “We are extremely thankful to our Veterans for their service and those in our community for the love and support that they have shown us through these unprecedented and challenging times.  To be able to offer a token of our appreciation was only fitting and we hope that the hampers we delivered, bring the same feelings of joy and warmth that they have given us through 2020!”

Overall, ten HC-One homes across the north of England are distributing Christmas hampers to people in the local community, spreading the festive spirit across the whole region and strengthening their relationships with those who they already communicate with.