LIFE for residents at the Hollybank Trust can be hard, but their carers make sure that they all have a very merry Christmas.
The charity, which looks after people aged five upwards who have complex physical and learning disabilities, has had a programme full of festivities in recent weeks.
Now, staff at Hollybank’s Roe Head site at Hartshead are preparing for the arrival of families who will be staying with their loved ones throughout Christmas.
Head of residential services Alison Howard said: “It’s like a big family atmosphere here. Our staff make Christmas special for everyone. It’s just like at home, but on a bigger scale. It’s a very busy time for us, but a lovely time.”
Staff at Hollybank either work over New Year or Christmas.
For the families of residents, Christmas can’t come soon enough. Karen Tyndall will be staying in the parents’ flat while she visits her 18-year-old daughter Fiona, who has lived at Hollybank since 2004.
She said: “We come up on Christmas Eve and the fun begins. We are welcomed and made to feel at home.
“Fiona comes over to the flat and we watch television and listen to music which she loves. We have all the support of staff yet we are free to be our own little family.
“On Christmas morning Fiona looks gorgeous – all the staff spoil her and dress her in her new clothes and style her hair. We have a gorgeous meal with all her friends and are treated so well by the staff who help us to relax and enjoy our meal while they assist Fiona.
“We have the best of both worlds – all the joy of Fiona in a safe and happy atmosphere but all the backup and companionship of dedicated staff who know her so well and are like extended family to her and us.”
Hollybank’s oldest resident is in her 40s, but there has been fun for all ages throughout December – parties, shopping trips, carol singing, a trip to the pantomime at the Bradford Alhambra and the Christmas lights switch-on in Roberttown.
Performances have been put on by Roberttown Players, Marsh Ladies Choir and Batley Salvation Army, and residents at Hollybank’s Sycamores care home in South Kirkby organised their own prom at the local cricket club.
Of course, the work of the trust, which is based in Far Common Road, would not be possible without charitable donations.
It is set to get a boost early next year when Huddersfield Town play Brentford on Saturday January 21, as proceeds from special family match tickets will be donated to the trust.
Visit www.hollybanktrust.com for more information.