Even though 2016 was the first year we tried this, Santa was very busy on the day and the children of Walton kindly donated 71 gifts for the elderly in our community!
In 2017 we ran this again, but with Santa in his own grotto on the High Street and gathered 75 gifts. Still kindly sponsored by James Neave and Walton Charity.
Walton Charity sent this report:
Walton Charity are very happy to be involved in this event. We collected over 70 gifts and these have now been distributed to the following local groups to give to older people who are likely to be on their own over Christmas:
CHEER – Concern & Help for East Elmbridge Retired
They aim to help elderly residents to lead full, dignified and independent lives in their own homes for as long as possible, instead of having to go into residential care.
CHEER do this by ensuring elderly people receive all the benefits they are entitled to, operating a volunteer befriending scheme and organising social events, as well as maintaining a dedicated phone line
Supports people with aphasia and their families in Surrey, by offering long-term social support to people with aphasia.
(Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain-most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals).
The Walton Group run a weekly group which allows stroke recoverers to practice all aspects of communication and help rebuild confidence and self-esteem in a friendly environment where people can have supported conversations and can also offer a home visiting service for those who cannot easily leave their homes
Visiting Friends - Befriending West Elmbridge and Woking
Can step in when family or friends are not around. It is a volunteer home visiting service ideally for people who live alone in the Walton-on-Thames, Hersham, Woking and Weybridge areas. It is ideally suited to people over 60 who have little contact from family and friends.
Walton Centre for the Community
Is one of seven centres run by Elmbridge Borough Council which are open to all residents over 50 or those who have a disability. The centres aim to promote an active and full life for residents, by offering a range of leisure activities and opportunities to learn new skills.
Walton & Hersham Foodbank
Is 1 of 3 local foodbanks which are part of the national Trussell Trust network which supports communities and churches to run foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger.
1 in 5 people live below the poverty line in the UK, and this includes older people who may face particularly difficult decisions about heating or eating.