In November, we sent ‘Christmas in a box’ to each of our sheltered housing customers Group-wide, containing a variety of Christmas treats aimed at bringing our sheltered housing customers together at what can be a lonely time of year.
For the first time, each of the Group’s sheltered housing schemes received a special Christmas surprise - a large box filled with festive treats including Christmas puddings, chocolates, wine, custard and biscuits. Each ‘Christmas in a box’ was aimed at bringing residents together during the festive season and encouraging them to make use of the Group’s Christmas meal grant scheme for sheltered housing customers, which subsidises a festive meal out.
The Group’s Volunteer Manager, Marian Patterson, oversaw the initiative. In November, she enlisted the help of around 50 colleague from the Group’s London office to help fill and wrap each box with Christmas treats.
Funding for the boxes was provided in part by some of the companies the Group works with: Chas Berger & son Ltd, Durkan Ltd, The Wates Group, Bevan Brittan LLP, Penningtons Manches LLP, and Sharrats Solicitors. In addition, AD Construction Group Ltd, DW Support Services, and The Wates Group delivered the boxes to each of the Group’s 53 schemes across the South East.
These companies donated their time, effort and funding through the Group’s social value programme, which requires the companies who work for us to provide additional benefits for our customers.
The Christmas boxes meant different things to different residents. For residents of Worsley Court on the Isle of Wight, the gesture had a deeper meaning, according to Scheme Services Coordinator Karen Salter: “The Worsley Court residents would like to say thank you for their box. It has been a very difficult week for them as one resident passed away. We opened the box after drawing the Christmas raffle numbers this morning and it did lift their spirits.”
Tracey Kelly, the Scheme Services Coordinator for Porter Court on the Isle of Wight, said: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you from the residents at Porter Court; we had a get together this morning and opened the box. It was lovely to see them come together.”
Abul Sorwar, the Scheme Services Coordinator for Hogarth Court in East London, said: “The residents appreciated the gesture and I have received positive feedback from both Hogarth Court and Manchester Road. The residents enjoyed the goodies and one of our residents mentioned: ‘This is the first time Southern Housing Group have done something like this and I’ve been living here for over 10 years!’ This has definitely improved the spirits of the residents. In all a great success.”