Charity overcomes Covid to bring Christmas cheer

Christmas Parcel Project packers

Nearly ninety local residents enjoyed a surprise Christmas treat, when volunteers from a local charity delivered the presents of either a hamper or a potted plant to them in their homes.

Organised by Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, the Christmas Parcel Project. which began some 25 years ago, has always brought an annual touch of seasonal good cheer to a number of the area’s older and less able residents; some of whom might feel lonely and isolated during the festive period.

“Will we be able to do it or not?”, said Ilkley Good Neighbours Trustee and Christmas Parcels Co-ordinator, Ed Duguid. “At this particularly tough time for everyone and certainly for some of the older members of our community, we all agreed we had to find a way to deliver the annual Christmas Parcels and bring a smile to their faces”. So, volunteers of Ilkley Good Neighbours, with the help of other local organisations in the town, set about making new arrangements to overcome the potential difficulties of delivering during the Covid Pandemic

Sadly one of the highlights of this annual Christmas event wasn’t possible this year due to COVID restrictions. In previous years students from Ilkley Grammar have accompanied the volunteers and helped hand over the parcels.

“It was unfortunate that the students couldn’t be there to help on this occasion, but we hope to welcome them back next year”, said Ed. “The recipients always enjoy seeing them at Christmas”.

Ilkley Good Neighbours Chairperson Penny Coulthard added: “Christmas can be a challenging time as we know for some of our older residents and this annual event is just one of the ways we as a charity can support them and let them know that they haven’t been forgotten.