Business owners, school children, organisations, health professionals, local providers, staff, family, friends and members of the public are rallying together to create a magical Christmas for the residents at Claremont House and Lodge nursing home in Caister-on Sea.
Home manager Christine Morgan set out to find a way to make Christmas extra special for residents this year, as they continue to face restrictions relating to the pandemic. The solution that she is putting in to place is to create a Christmas wonderland in the grounds of the home, and has called on the local community to get involved and help make it a festive spectacle.
Christine posted in local social media groups to request donations of decorations or trees to help make the garden as spectacular as possible. She has since been inundated with trees, lights, decorations and ornaments, along with offers of help to come and decorate.
Over the coming days, the outside areas will be packed full of Christmas trees and decorations, ensuring that every resident on the ground floor has a Christmas tree outside their window. Christine is anticipating that they will have around 50 trees surrounding the home in total – and even a snow machine!
On Friday 4th December, children from North Denes Primary School’s nursery in Great Yarmouth brought along their own homemade decorations to adorn the trees. A small group of three year old children visited with their teachers to put their decorations up on the trees, which was greatly enjoyed by residents who delighted in watching them from inside the home.
Staff from the Caister branch of Tesco will be visiting the home’s garden during the first week of December to start decorating, a former taxi driver, Jenny Oxborough, who used to transport residents from the home has kindly purchased a significant amount of decorations, while local businesses Thistles & Thorns, Narayan supermarket, Williams Garage and the post office in Filby have all made donations.
The Great Yarmouth B&Q have offered discounted items for those making contributions, Asda has provided some bunting and a local firm has kindly donated over 240 metres of lights.
Christine is creating plaques for each tree to celebrate those who have given their time and contributions. The home has set-up designated time slots for volunteers to visit the garden area, to ensure social distancing and tier restrictions are adhered to at all times.
Christine explains, “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible response we’ve had to this idea. Christmas is such a special time for us all, and our residents really enjoy the decorations, events and celebrations.
“Obviously this year will be different for us and so we wanted to find a way to make the season special whilst keeping our residents safe. By creating a festive wonderland in our garden, with the help of our residents’ relatives and so many people in our community, we’re hoping to achieve something really magical – it looks as though we may have around 50 Christmas trees altogether, which will just be magical for our residents.”