Kirsty delivers her gifts of kindness…
January 20, 2021
A Cramlington woman’s plan to deliver a few Christmas gifts to elderly residents took off beyond all expectations and she is now helping COVID-19 patients across the region.
Kirsty Laidler, 35, from the Beaconhill area of town, was originally inspired by her late grandad Willie Laidler who delivered food parcels through his church.
Through Kirsty’s work as a Senior Care Assistant she was aware that some elderly residents were struggling with the isolation brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic and wanted to reach out and offer a little parcel of Christmas cheer. These gifts included a wash bag and toiletries, an individual gift, mince pies, soft drinks, sweets and a Christmas cracker.
Kirsty announced her plan on Facebook knowing she would receive support from family and friends. What she didn’t know was that her story would be picked up by ITV news and as a result she was overwhelmed with offers of support and donations. Kirsty ended up making 80 Christmas hampers, and delivered them with help from her friend Vicki Smith.
Kirsty says “Handing over the hampers was a delight and it made all the hard work worthwhile. People have been so isolated they were delighted to have someone to chat to when I delivered them – socially distanced chat of course.”
“One woman who lived in Canada got in touch as she was unable to visit her elderly father. I took some photos of him with his hamper and his daughter was just delighted – and reassured by seeing a picture of him smiling. Distributing the hampers was quite emotional – I often ended up in tears!”
Spurred on by the success of her Christmas gifts Kirsty is now working on an initiative to deliver washbags to COVID-19 patients to Cramlington, the RVI and Rake Lane hospitals.
She explained: “Often these patients are emergency admissions and their personal belongings have to be quarantined and are not allowed on to the wards with them. These washbags will have already been delivered to the hospital where they go through their own quarantine and are ready to be used immediately by patients.”
“It’s a relatively small gesture but is of a real benefit to the patients. I’m glad to have found a way to offer help – I just want to make a difference.”
After hearing of her fantastic work, Cramlington Town Council is delighted to declare Kirsty a Neighbourhood Hero!