Generous staff bring Christmas cheer to care home

GENEROUS: Ben Crawford and Keeley Howson from First Direct Bank with their gifts.
GENEROUS: Ben Crawford and Keeley Howson from First Direct Bank with their gifts.

ELDERLY care home residents with no family or friends were given some Christmas cheer thanks to banking staff.

The residents at The Hawthornes care home in Birkenshaw received presents from staff at First Direct bank in Leeds.

Each Christmas the bank runs a Neighbours in Need campaign, offering gifts to people who have no family or friends and therefore would not receive a present over the festive period.

Staff from The Hawthornes provided gift tags with names and details of the recipients’ personalities which were then hung on a Christmas tree in First Direct’s reception so appropriate gifts could be bought.

Ben Crawford, from First Direct, said: “I picked Rob, who had an interest in World War Two planes. I am a pilot and fly planes for a hobby, and felt we had something in common. After checking that he still had the dexterity to do models, I bought him an airfix plane kit and wrote him a long letter all about my interest in aircraft.”

Organiser Nicola Rayner, from First Direct, said: “It’s easy to take for granted the lovely feeling of being surrounded by friends and family at Christmas and I hope that the residents at The Hawthornes, who don’t have that opportunity, know we’re all thinking about them.”

An Orchard Care Homes spokesperson said: “We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of First Direct staff and it has made a real difference to our residents’ Christmas. We’d like to say thank you to all those involved with the project and we wish everyone at First Direct a very happy Christmas.”