Plea for donations to give lonely a special Christmas

Kathryn Leyden with just some of the donations she has recieved so far
Kathryn Leyden with just some of the donations she has recieved so far

A kind-hearted mum is appealing for help from the community to let lonely people know they are being thought about this Christmas.

Kathryn Leyden has launched a charity mission called A Gift for Christmas with the hope of collecting enough donations to give every lonely person in the borough a gift bag and card.

It is something close to my heart because I used to be a carer and now I am a student nurse, but when I was a support worker I could see how lonely people get

Kathryn Leyden

The student nurse, who used to be a support worker in care homes, is all too familiar with how isolated some people can feel during the festive season and wanted to do something to show them they are not alone.

She said: “I wanted to do something for local people, I had looked a lot online but they were all quite general and I wanted to make sure the local community benefitted.

“It is something close to my heart because I used to be a carer and now I am a student nurse, but when I was a support worker I could see how lonely people get and I used to help but I can’t now I am a student nurse because I am not as hands on.

“They are only small gift bags with biscuits and individual Christmas cake, some toiletries or smellies and maybe some cosy socks. Even little candles would be nice.

“We have been working with a couple of different care companies that do home visits so they can take one to people who can’t get out much.

“They also know an individual’s needs so if someone is disabled and can’t have solid food we can adjust the bags so they actually get something they need.”

Kathryn, of Wigan Lane, Standish, is also working with care homes in the borough and Age UK to help her reach as many elderly and lonely people in the borough as possible.

A number of workplaces are holding dress down days for staff to raise money for the mission while Mab’s Cross Primary School pupils are going to help by writing out Christmas cards to go in the gift bags as well as holding a non-uniform day.

So far she has enough donations for around 200 bags but is hoping to collect even more.

“It is nice to make the younger generation aware that this is an issue as well. No one pays them much notice and it is about time the older generation had the limelight,” Kathryn said.