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A Christmas Not to Forget

The COVID-19 Pandemic truly played the pantomime villain throughout 2020 with the cancellation of significant events and activities. However, just like the Grinch, it failed to stop our residents from enjoying a different but wonderful Christmas and certainly one not to be forgotten. Staff and residents from our homes have been involved in plenty of festive fun activities including Christmas parties, watching pre-recorded pantomimes, and the daily mischiefs from ‘Elf on the Shelf’.

Sparkle for Social Care, which helps fundraise for The Care Workers’ Charity, invited our staff and residents and several other care providers to create a collaborative video. Created by mixing clips from as many homes as possible dancing and singing along to ‘Sleigh Ride’ by The Ronettes made for a fun and festive Christmas video highlighting how the sector has come together this year. Enjoyed by all of those featured in the final piece, it was published on Facebook as a Christmas Eve treat for us all to watch.


Each year, resident’s grandchildren from Bourn View are invited to the home to visit Santa in his grotto to receive presents, but sadly, this had to be cancelled. To prevent the grandchildren from missing out on gifts, Rosie Boshell from the Well-being team suggested the home could deliver them instead. Staff members, Ashley Marshal and James Hall, dressed as Santa, and several other ‘elf’ staff members set off in their sleigh (minibus) to deliver presents to over 20 homes. Resident Marg Sanderson said, “My grandson absolutely loved meeting Santa and dancing and singing in the street with the cheeky elves. I am so happy that he was able to receive a present.”


Over the Christmas period, up to 8,000 premature babies spend their first Christmas in neonatal units and warm blankets are vital in keeping premature babies’ temperatures constant when taken out of their incubators. The Sun on Sundays, Knit A Lot, Help A Tot Appeal in support with The Bliss Charity, challenged the nation’s knitters to donate handmade Christmas blankets to keep premature babies across the county warm. The keen Knit and Natter Club of Astbury Manor rose to the challenge and knitted ten blankets to donate. Resident Eileen said, “It was an honour, a pleasure and very enjoyable activity that went towards a great cause.”

Christmas Astbury Manor

Traditionally, Avery produces bespoke Christmas cards to send to relatives, professional contacts, and suppliers. For 2020, Avery opted to go ‘card-less’, instead donating to several charities; Mind, Age UK, The Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, and Friends of the Elderly. Like many others, these vitally essential charities have suffered financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Avery’s Chief Operating Officer, Sharon Winfield, said, “Without the kind donations they receive throughout the year, charities cannot continue to carry out their amazing work, supporting that in need in our local communities. We recognised that they would benefit more from donations than ever.”