Councillor Paula Isaac and our Editor Michaela Clarke delivered Christmas cards school children had made for residents in care homes in and around Henley over the weekend. Over 300 cards were made and received from children at Sacred Heart, Valley Road, St. Mary’s, Rupert House, Gillotts and Badgemore schools.
The care homes who received the cards included Acacia Lodge, Henley Manor, Chilterns Court, Thamesfield, Lashbrook in Shiplake and Huntercombe in Nettlebed. Resident, Ausonia Simmons at Henley Manor Care home (pictured above) was thrilled to receive a card.
Paula said, “The idea came from my own personal experience with a loved one in a care home this year. It has been incredibly difficult to be separated and has impacted not only the health and well-being of residents, but it affects the whole family. The feeling of separation, guilt and helplessness of not being able to be with people who are dear to you is just heart-breaking.”
There were many lovely messages in the cards from the children including one from St Mary’s which read, “Even if you’re in a care home or not with your family always remember that you are always loved and your friends and family are always thinking of you.”
Wendy Fricker, Activities Co-ordinator at Acacia Lodge said, “We would like to say thank you so much to the schools for doing these lovely Christmas cards for us and I know especially at the moment the residents will be very, very touched and very happy to received them.”
Paula added, “I wanted to do something special for care home residents to show that although people can’t see them as they would like to this year, they are still very much in everyone’s minds. I thought about how lovely it would be if every care home resident received a hand made Christmas card or message to show how people on the outside are still thinking of them and wishing them well in these difficult times. The local schools responded so well which was incredible and overwhelming. I have also heard some beautiful stories of children who have loved ones in care homes that were particularly touched to know their family member would be receiving a card. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone in care homes and their families a peaceful and safe Christmas. Also thank you to all care home staff for going above and beyond this year in very challenging circumstances. I would like to thank Michaela for helping to organise and thanks also to everyone who made such beautiful cards with heart-warming messages and those who collected cards and dropped them to me on the school’s behalf. Finally, a special thank you message to my husband Rob for his help and for supporting me through what has been an incredibly difficult year.”