Care home’s Christmas wish is answered with 2,000 cards

Westoe Grange Care Home Christmas cards. 
Residents Elsie Burne and Edythe Brandon.
Westoe Grange Care Home Christmas cards. Residents Elsie Burne and Edythe Brandon.

A care home’s Christmas wish has been answered after residents received more than 2,000 festive cards.

Staff at Westoe Grange Care Home in South Shields, were on the lookout for kindhearted people will send their 41 residents Christmas cards

Westoe Grange Care Home Christmas cards. 
Residents Elsie Burne and Edythe Brandon with staff from left deputy manager Liz Capewell and care assistant Emma Barker

Westoe Grange Care Home Christmas cards. Residents Elsie Burne and Edythe Brandon with staff from left deputy manager Liz Capewell and care assistant Emma Barker

Earlier this month the Gazette revealed how many of the elderly people at the home, Horsley Hill Road, South Shields, don’t have families, or their relatives live abroad, so they don’t receive many festive post or many visitors.

The card idea was thought up by manager Carol Blackett and was tried last year - but not many people knew about it.

However, Carol and her team have been swamped with cards this year - some arriving from as far away as Italy and New Zealand.

Carol said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. We’ve been sent more than 2,000 cards. They’ve been arriving from all over the world.

“The home is filled with cards and looks fantastic. The lovely thing is they’ve all had such wonderful personal messages inside. It’s been quite emotional to be honest

“We’ve also heard from a care home down south and now we’re going to set up a pen friend letter exchange with them.”

She added: “The cards have also evoked a lot of memories for our residents so it been lovely for them to enjoy and remember past Christmas celebrations.”

Tomorrow the residents will also have an extra treat as drag act Greta La More will be handing out presents.

Carol said: “A very kind lady called Margaret has brought in gifts and arranged from Greta to pay us a visit. I am sure residents will enjoy that.

“We also have a few people who are associated with the home who will be coming to enjoy Christmas dinner with us too.”

Staff also wanted to encourage people to make sure elderly people living in their neighbourhoods were remembered over the festive period.

Carol said: “There is a lot of lonely people out there and that was a key message we wanted to get across.

“Not everyone has loved ones and Christmas especially can be very hard.

“But we want to say a massive thank you to every one who has taken the time to send in a card, it’s meant so much to the residents and the staff and they;ve all been thoroughly enjoyed.

“It’s been such a success we’re thinking about doing something similar, but slightly different, next year too.”