Appeal to send South Tyneside care home's OAPs Christmas cards

Care home bosses are hoping people in South Tyneside will help spread the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:33 pm
Westoe Grange Care Home Christmas card send in campaign.

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

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 much festive post or many visitors.

Residents from left Mena Larkin, Alan Makepeace, Alan Churchwood and Betty McTavy.

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

This year staff are hoping that, with the help of social media, they will be inundated with cards

Gemma Wynne, activities’ co-ordinator, said: “We have a mixture of residents, some have lots of visitors, but some don’t get any, it’s a mixed bag. So for them Christmas can be a very lonely time.

“We thought if they all received Christmas cards then it will show residents that people are thinking about them and they do matter.

Residents from left Mena Larkin, Alan Makepeace, Alan Churchwood and Betty McTavy.

“We want people to think of the elderly in their local communities too, perhaps pensioners who live in the same street.”

She added: “One lady told me her neighbour has got the same Christmas card out every year for the last six years, it’s heartbreaking.”

Staff are unable to give out the names of residents because of confidentiality concerns.

However, the care home has 41 residents and they all live at doors numbered 1 to 40.

Gemma said: “Some people have been picking a door number or they have been simply writing ‘to someone special’ on the envelope.

“Instead of just writing ‘Merry Christmas’ the cards we’ve received so far have had lovely hand written messages inside.

“We will be displaying the cards all around the home, so it will not only look lovely and festive, but residents can see that people do care.

“Afterwards we will be recycling them all and we’re saving all of the stamps up to donate to charity.

“Last year when we tried to do this our Facebook page had just 11 shares, but this year already 400 people have shared our appeal and we’ve already started to receive cards, so we think we will have a much bigger response.”

Cards can be dropped off by hand, but it’s preferred if they are posted.

Gazette readers can send their cards to Westoe Grange Care Home, 4 Horsley Hill Road, South Shields, Tyne and War NE33 3DY