Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Eggstra special gifts for care homes

Eggstra special gifts for care homes

A WOMAN from Goring delivered more than 125 chocolate eggs to staff at local care homes during the Easter weekend.

Nikita Patel visited The Grange, Lyndhurst and Cleeve Lodge as well as Towse Court, an extra care housing development, and Coombe House in Streatley.

The 31-year-old, who works in finance, sourced the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs from Westholme Stores in Wallingford Road, which has been run by her parents, Jayesh “Jack” Patel and his wife Varsha, for 32 years.

She painted egg boxes before placing the chocolate ones in them and taking them to each home, where many of the staff are customers of the shop.

Miss Patel said: “At times like these you think about the care homes.

“One of my first jobs was at Coombe House. I was 16 and just washing up — basic stuff, not a proper carer — but I know how hard they work.

“I decorated the egg boxes just to make them a bit more personal. I painted them purple, pink and blue, added bunnies from a die cut stencil and a big thank-you label.”

The staff thanked her and many posed with her for photographs at a suitable social distance.

Miss Patel said: “The staff are just so positive and happy and we had a great laugh doing the selfies. One of them came into the store recently and said they loved it. They were really grateful, happy and friendly.”

Dianne Downard, staff under manager at Lyndhurst in Lyndhurst Road, said: “It was so lovely.

“The time it took them to make the boxes and get round and drop them all off and put up the post on their Facebook page means we feel like we’re appreciated. Sometimes I think our assistants get a little bit forgotten.

“This is what we’re dedicated to doing but when you get something extra it’s really nice and very thoughtful.”

Sarah Knowles, manager of the Grange in Grange Close, said: “It was lovely and our staff were really grateful.

“They often get forgotten, I think, so it’s nice to know they’re appreciated by the people in the village because they work so hard and it has been so difficult with the coronavirus.

“It’s quite stressful. We’re desperately trying to keep the virus out. The staff are being so careful and wear masks and gloves all the time.

“We’ve had an amazing response from the whole village. We’ve had a lady making masks for us. People are always phoning and asking if there’s anything they can do to help.”

Vanessa Woolf, owner of Cleeve Lodge in Elmhurst Road, said: “The staff were delighted and also felt quite humble as they all feel that they are just doing their job.

“The support from the village has been overwhelming. People have been incredibly kind and thoughtful.”

Sarah Windebank, deputy manager of Coombe House, said: “It was really nice to realise that people are appreciative of the hard work that carers are having to put in at the moment.

“We have had to change all our routines and our residents cannot have visitors so carers have to spend more time entertaining them. It’s just a lot of extra work. We’ve also had to reduce our footfall into the home, so we have fewer staff doing longer shifts.

“They are working 12 hours, which is really hard, and also having to wear protective equipment and masks which are very hot and uncomfortable.

“A gesture like this really perks them up and makes them feel appreciated. We also really appreciate Jack’s store because it does a fantastic job in the community.”

A spokeswoman for Towse Court in Icknield Place said: “It was a really nice gesture. There were enough for staff.”

• Westholme Stores is providing a delivery service for residents who require groceries and basics such as milk, bread, frozen food, loo roll and flour. The deliveries are made by volunteer “street champions”. For more information, call (01491) 872619.

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