Since 2013, the Sir Simon Milton Foundation started a programme to give Christmas hampers to some of the most disadvantaged older people in Westminster.
In 2022, against the backdrop of a bleak economic outlook, we expanded our Christmas programme of support to some of the most vulnerable residents at this time of year.
We arranged for 800 Christmas hampers to be delivered to the most isolated, disadvantaged and impoverished older people in the city. Five hundred of the hampers were funded by the Victoria BID.
Some went to carers to recognise what a difficult job so many of them do, and some to the Council care homes, where their delivery was accompanied by Westminster singer, Lucy Clark. This was a highlight for many of the residents.
The hampers were delivered by wonderful Council volunteers (from ‘Westminster Connects’) and Foundation staff. This extra human contact was very much welcomed by the recipients and the hampers lifted the spirits of so many at a difficult time of year.
An Age UK study found that 873,000 older people have little or no contact with people over the Christmas period so this generous donation could not have come at a better time. The impact of this small gift is best expressed in some of the many moving messages of thanks from the recipients and their carers:
“Thank you very much for the Christmas hampers, it is very generous and very helpful, I have been in a wheelchair, so have not been getting out to shop. They are fantastic.”
Peggy and Michael
“It is wonderful of you to have sent this gift, I have never had a gift like this in my life, and I am 89! How kind of you to think of me. God bless you.”
"My mother has dementia but when I put the gift on her bed and she opened it she was absolutely thrilled. It was fabulous. Thank you so much"
Daugther of hamper recipient
We will be repeating this programme this year and hope to reach even more isolated and lonely older people. If you want to help, for example, by donating Christmas hampers, please get in touch with us.