Bradford charity staff are sending gift boxes to 175 older people, who will be spending Christmas alone.
When QED Foundation colleagues put out a call for donations so that they could spread some festive cheer, they received an overwhelming response from friends, families and work partners. The specially selected gift parcels are now being distributed throughout the district through residential centres, churches, GP surgeries and community groups or given direct to old people who live by themselves.
“I recently spoke to staff at a large care home, who told me that half of their residents did not receive visits from friends or family,” says deputy chief executive Adeeba Malik CBE. “It confirmed what I already suspected: that a lot of people in our communities end up being on their own at this time of year.
“Our staff were taken aback and said that it really brought home to them how much our charity’s work is needed.”
Each parcel contains a selection of items including blankets, cushions, hats, gloves, socks, shortbread biscuits, chocolates and hand sanitiser. They have been prepared by QED Foundation staff and some have been designed to appeal particularly to men or women.
“We are grateful to QED Foundation staff for their support at this most difficult time,” says Baldev Singh, owner of Norwood House Nursing Home in Keighley. “They have brought smiles and joy to our residents and they have provided the local community with a gift that is priceless and from the heart. We are sincerely grateful to them for thinking of us.
“In the past QED Foundation has organised popular music therapy sessions with our residents, who all responded by starting dancing. We work with schools and community organisations to provide a range of activities and despite the current restrictions we have been able to organise outdoor carol singing.”
QED Foundation was founded in Bradford in 1990 and is known across the country for its pioneering work among disadvantaged communities. Its current initiatives aimed at tackling isolation include a telephone befriending service for ethnic minority residents.
It is also working with leading children’s charity Barnardo’s as part of its nationwide See, Hear, Respond service. This offers vulnerable and isolated youngsters a telephone helpline, online counselling, therapy and access to interactive resources including advice and information.
QED Foundation supports and hosts Asian Virsa, an independent not-for-profit organisation that works to improve the health and wellbeing of older people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
For more information contact Adeeba Malik CBE on 01274 545000 or 0797 6658268, email [email protected] or visit www.qed-uk.org