‘Give not take’ as Avon Reach champions community advent

22 December 2021

Avon Reach put a community-minded twist on advent, turning the traditional day-by-day Christmas countdown into prompts for 24 acts of kindness

Staff and residents transformed the seasonal message of goodwill into practical action in and out of the home.

Among their initiatives, our team members joined volunteers from a range of businesses and organisations to help with a community litter pick around Mudeford Quay.

We continued our year-long support for families in need by collecting and donating tinned and dried food for both the Christchurch Food Bank and Hope for Food in Bournemouth.

Staff donated old towels to local animal rescue centres and shelters, left thank-you notes and flowers around the neighbourhood and made and delivered Christmas cards to local schools.

Our Clinical Lead Jacqui Williams dressed up as a Christmas cracker and handed out sweets to passing locals at a Christmas lights switch-on she attended with home residents.

And colleagues and residents held a Christmas jumper day with donations going to Save the Children.

To keep residents’ spirits up, staff also arranged for Nelly the chihuahua, a popular visitor, to make a surprise seasonal appearance.

Other acts of kindness featured on our advent calendar included making up and presenting hampers to local emergency services and a 25-mile sponsored walk around the home with staff and residents taking it in turns to lead the way.

Residents praised the idea of a whole month of acts of kindness.

Doreen Walls said: “It’s such a lovely idea to bring kindness to the community and we have enjoyed getting involved.”

Pam Eggerdon said: “It was especially lovely to see old towels going to an animals’ shelter and not going to waste.”

Home Manager Jess Brolan, who was involved in many of the activities including the community litter pick, said: “We wanted to do something different with the concept of an advent calendar. Supporting the community is the best way to give something back. It’s all about giving not taking.”