At Affinity Trust, one of our organisational values is to be ‘creative and flexible in our thinking’.
Recently, staff in our North Division put this value into action, using the collective help of parents and carers to put a festive smile on the faces of some of the people we support in the area.
As many of us would recognise, Christmas and birthdays can be a difficult time if you are without a loved one or a close friend. For some of the people supported in Shipley and Airedale, many have no living relatives or friends living close by.
It potentially means missing out on Christmas or birthday gifts that – for many – would be taken for granted.
However – by using the excellent parent and carer network established in the area – back in December, staff were ‘creative and flexible’ and ensured adults did not miss out on a special festive gift.
Shipley and Airedale staff scheduled a special pre-Christmas meeting of its parent and carers forum. Prior to the event, staff wrote to parents asking for any spare Christmas gifts that they were willing to donate. These gifts would then be given to the people we support who are without immediate family or friends.
Forum members responded brilliantly and brought a range of gifts to the meeting. In fact, many said they could not find anything, but made the decision to buy something and support staff efforts in any case.
By using their initiative – coupled with the kindness of parents and carers – staff ensured adults supported in Shipley and Airedale did not miss out, in what turned out to be an impromptu case of secret Santa!