Published December 4, 2021 at 9:36
A heart-warming winter campaign encouraging people to send Christmas cards to residents in local care homes has launched this week (1 December).
Cards for Kindness, now in its fourth year, aims to tackle loneliness and isolation in care homes across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
The idea is that opening the Christmas card helps to start conversations and bring back happy memories. Research shows that these conversations can have many benefits and reduce loneliness, particularly for people living with dementia.
All the information people need to get involved, including contact details for care homes, a way to send an e-card and ideas for messages, is available on the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership website https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/CardsForKindness
County Councillor Graham Gooch, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “”This Christmas, Cards for Kindness is set to be bigger than ever.
“Our theme is ‘What Warms Your Heart in Winter’, so we’re asking people to include a few words about something that makes them feel happy at a time of year which can be very lonely for the people living in one of the 573 care homes across the Lancashire and South Cumbria region.”
Rossendale Council Leader Alyson Barnes said: “Care home staff do a tremendous job organising activities to ensure residents who live there can socialise and connect to each other. However, loneliness is still a huge issue for people living in our care homes, many of whom don’t have regular visits, so this is such a lovely and simple thing to do that has shown to make a real difference.”
“Figures show that living in isolation can have a similar effect on our health than smoking 15 cigarettes per day, so campaigns like this are absolutely crucial.
“We’d encourage as many Rossendale residents as possible to help us warm someone’s heart by sending a card to their local care home. Just one extra card will only take a couple of minutes to write, but it’ll make all the difference to someone in a care home this Christmas.”
Talib Yaseen, Executive Director of Transformation from Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, said: “Cards for Kindness is a wonderful way to spread a little Christmas spirit by sending a festive greetings card to people living in our local care homes.
“The impact of the pandemic and the isolation that many residents, staff and families endured makes the Cards for Kindness campaign even more important this year and I hope lots of people across our communities will take part in this simple but important activity.
“Cards for Kindness is a joint project, with local authorities, the NHS, education and voluntary groups, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations working together to help reduce loneliness of care home residents. It will also bring some cheer to staff working in the care sector to know others are thinking of the residents they support.
“We know that Cards for Kindness has made a big impact in previous years with residents and staff telling us how much joy the cards have brought and how they have sparked nostalgic conversations about Christmases gone by.”
Addresses of all the care homes involved including those in Rossendale and instructions on how to take part are available at: www.healthierlsc.co.uk/CardsForKindness.
Those sending Christmas cards are encouraged to share their experience on social media using #CardsForKindness.