A big-hearted Penrith fundraiser has launched a Christmas campaign which aims to provide gifts for residents and staff at the town’s three care homes.
Cameron Stewart, aged 21, who works at Sainsbury’s, launched the fundraising drive at Penrith’s Starfruits, which, along with Yorkshire Trading, is acting as a collection point for donations from the public.
“I am asking the general public if they would like to donate a small new or unused item for the residents so they will receive a gift from the community.
“I’d like to give every resident in the three care homes in Penrith and the staff as well a gift so they feel valued,” said Cameron.
He came up with the idea — called #CameronsChristmasCampaign — after thinking about how he could give something back to the community in the run-up to Christmas which people could get involved with and create a positive mood of giving.
In addition, he will also include a card wishing the recipients a happy Christmas.
“It’s a way for every one of them to have a gift and card, in this tough year where families might not be able to visit the same,” said Cameron.
As part of the campaign, which is set to run until 1st December, Cameron will sort the items into men’s, ladies’ and mixed.
These will then be put into bags with paper — so it is all COVID safe.
“Then I will present the boxes to the homes two weeks before Christmas, so they can have time in isolation,” said Cameron.
“I’m saying people can either donate an item from home or spend up to the value of £3 on something or whatever is appropriate.
“These can be any sort of items like cosmetics, books, pens, keyrings and food that’s wrapped like chocolate.
“I’ve said no clothes, just for practical reasons. I will also present the staff with boxes of sweets to thank everyone of them.”
He said that as well as items, money could also be donated, which will be counted up and split between the three care homes to spend as they deem appropriate.
This can be left in a sealed envelope in Starfruits.
“I do think as a result of the lockdown being brought in, it’s vital for the community to have a positive campaign to support people in the run-up to Christmas — where everyone can help local people have a cheerful Christmas, both the amazing residents who have given so much to the town and the incredible staff who have given so much to provide the service of care this year.
“I also think it has been a challenging time for the residents, as they have had to adapt to not seeing family or any visitors coming in to see them.
“I see this campaign as a heartfelt thanks from the town to all these inspiring people, the way they’ve kept going,” said Cameron.
He thanked everyone for the incredible generosity that had already been shown around the town and for all the support which had been shown.
“Also I want to send a big thanks to the Penrith Lions who have very kindly donated £150 to the campaign,” said Cameron.