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Christmas Shoe Box Appeal

4th January 2019

Staff support new initiative with donations to help service users enjoy the festive season.

Our Response Team is often called to people who have little or no food in the cupboard and no family to see. As Christmas approached, two members of staff wanted to make sure the festive season would be enjoyed by all. With their help we launched our first Shoebox Appeal.

Medvivo Responder Deb Perez, said “We wanted to make a difference this year and make sure our service users did not feel alone, and had food if they were unable to get out. So, we came up with the idea of launching our Shoebox Appeal specifically for users of our Telecare and Urgent Care @ Home services.”

Our Access to Care team works with Responders in arranging Urgent Care @ Home visits. One of the clinicians, Mandy Mansell, helped to drive this initiative with Deb.

Mandy adds: “The response we had from staff both at Medvivo and our NHS111 partners, Vocare, was overwhelming. In fact, we had a problem sourcing enough shoe boxes and ended up using gift bags as well.”

Delivering More Than Just a Box

Our Response Team delivered around 35 boxes and bags over the festive period, each filled with toiletries, tea, coffee, biscuits, chocolates, snacks, soup, crackers, socks and scarves.

One of our service users is often visited by the team when his pendant is accidentally pressed. He lives alone and other than a call from his sister a few days before Christmas, he had heard from no one. He felt very alone and uncared for.

He loved the box which had his favourite biscuits in it, and was so grateful for the extra visit he had that day.

As part of our Telecare service, we also give reassurance calls which are important especially for people whose family don’t live near or they have poor mobility. The team arrived to deliver a box as one such service user was eating her Christmas dinner microwave meal out of a plastic container.

Opening the box brought tears to her eyes. Smiling from ear to ear, this delightful 93 year old was so happy and grateful for her gift. She had a special message for the Telecare team: “God bless you all and thank you.”

This service user was spending Christmas Day on his own due to his wife being very ill in hospital. His family keep in contact by phone, but his mobility is slow and he is currently house bound.

His daughter and family were staying on Boxing Day and the Christmas box was a welcoming distraction from all that was going on at the moment. He was overwhelmed by the kind thought.

“Peggy” lives alone but does have contact with her son, who visits regularly. Recently Peggy had been unwell after coming out of hospital, although she is doing a lot better now. She was surprised with her Christmas box, especially with the amount of items it contained. She was excited to show her son what she had received and was looking forward to using the toiletries. She wished everyone a Merry Christmas and thanked everyone for the nice Christmas box.

We visit a wide range of people with varying health needs. One young family had been going through a hard time. The mother has health problems, while the husband who looks after their 11 year old son has been suffering with severe depression. This was a difficult time of year for them but the extra Christmas boxes from Medvivo went a long way to helping.

Delivering the boxes also meant team members were able to meet some of the service users they are in regularly contact with.

Nominated by several people, one of the team delivered a box on her day off to this service user who had no family to spend Christmas with.

He could not thank the team enough and was really pleased to have been thought of.

There were many other similar gift exchanges including one Telecare service user who had been quite poorly and was in hospital recently. It was a pleasure to see him at home and smiling as he received his Christmas box. And another, who had poor eyesight, who was thrilled to hear what was in his special box and looked forward to the hot chocolate and treats.

Medvivo's Chief Operating Officer, Michelle Reader, was hugely impressed by the initiative taken to launch this Appeal and for the support it received from staff.

Michelle comments: “One of our core values as a business is customer focus, building strong person centred relationships. This initiative truly shows how much we care and focus on our service users. It really is inspiring and we hope people will get involved again this year.”

On behalf of all the staff at Medvivo, may we take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year.  

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