A generous Christmas gesture brought a smile to the faces of residents at Whiteoak Court, Swanley.
Youngsters Emma-Grace, Jacob and Stephen Wright, whose mum Stacy is a West Kent tenant, took Christmas gifts to some of the older people at the sheltered scheme because they knew they would be on their own.
“We love being part of a big family and we felt sorry for people on their own at Christmas, which is why we decided to visit with presents,” explained 10 year-old Emma-Grace.
The gesture was certainly appreciated. “There was a knock on the door and I opened it to find the children outside with a present for me,” recalled Alan Davies. “It was absolutely magical and really made my day.”
Mum Stacy – who has six children – explained that the Christmas Eve visit was inspired by television advertisements asking for donations for good causes, including one from the Red Cross focusing on lonely older people.
“The adverts made the children decide they wanted to help other people at Christmas, but we decided that rather than giving money to the Red Cross they could instead help people in the neighbourhood,” said Stacy, who lives in Moultain Hill, Swanley.
She contacted scheme manager Michelle Whitlock with the idea and was delighted at the enthusiastic response she received.
“The children bought two gifts each from the school Christmas fair – one for a man and one for a woman – and we came to Whiteoak Court on Christmas Eve,” she recalled.
“We were expecting to leave them under a tree or something, but Michelle asked us if we would like to hand them over and then took us to see the residents she had chosen. It was a lovely experience for the children and good for them to experience the pleasure of giving a gift to someone else.”
Emma-Grace and her brothers Jacob (8) and Stephen (6) said meeting the residents and helping them to have a happier Christmas had been a great experience. “It helped give them a sense of community and learn about being kind,” said Stacy when the family visited Whiteoak Court again in January. “I am very proud of them.”