Belfast Telegraph

Worldwide support for Ailsa Lodge Care Home's Christmas cards appeal

Kelly
Kelly

By Lisa Smyth

An appeal on social media for the public to send Christmas cards to the residents of a care home has received overwhelming support.

The first card has already arrived at Ailsa Lodge Care Home - just two days after Kelly Brown put out a request on Facebook.

And Kelly, the activities therapist at the home in Bangor, Co Down, said she has received messages from as far afield as Australia asking for more information after she posted her request.

"I am honestly overwhelmed by the response so far," she said.

"My post has been shared more than 1,100 times so far and has 650 likes and I can't keep up with the number of people who have already sent me private messages. I've had people from France, Greece, Canada and Australia getting in touch asking for the full postal address so they can send a card - it's absolutely amazing."

Kelly was prompted to put out the appeal after speaking to residents of the home as she makes preparations for the Christmas celebrations.

She said: "I went around all the residents and asked them about their fondest memories of Christmas and so many of them mentioned Christmas cards.

"People don't send as many Christmas cards any more, but I thought it would be lovely for every resident to have one card to open every day in December.

"However, we have 41 places at the home and I thought it would be a bit much for me to write out that many cards myself, so I decided to put out an appeal on my personal Facebook page to ask my friends if they would help out.

"I can't believe the response, I never thought it would touch so many people, and I'm really excited to see how many cards we get.

"I am trying to respond personally to everyone who has messaged me, because if they have made the effort to get in touch then it is only fair that I get back to them, but it is hard to keep up." Kelly added: "The biggest part of my job is tackling isolation and loneliness and making sure the residents don't experience any of this.

"I've been arranging Christmas for months and I have all sorts of activities and events over the Christmas period, but quite often it is the little things that make all the difference when it comes to making sure people aren't isolated."

If you would like to send a card to a resident at the care home, address it to My New Friend, Ailsa Lodge Care Home, 6 Killaire Avenue, Bangor, BT19 1EW.

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