First Direct help tackle loneliness in Yorkshire care homes this Christmas


Thankyou-to-FirstDirectOver ninety elderly people in Orchard Care Homes across Yorkshire, without family or friends this Christmas, will receive Christmas gifts thanks to the efforts of colleagues at first direct bank in Leeds.

Orchard Care Homes, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, has received donated gifts from first direct employees for the past three years to ensure that those not expecting visitors on Christmas day will not feel lonely or forgotten.  By the end of Christmas 2015, over 250 residents across homes from Sheffield in the south, up to Thirsk in the north, will have received gifts through the partnership with the bank. 


In the place of a Secret Santa activity within the head office, first direct employees draw a name from a list that has been provided by Orchard Care Homes. This year the list holds names of over ninety elderly residents from over seventeen care homes in the region. Care home managers have highlighted those with no planned visitors for the festive season and asked them what would be on their Christmas list. first direct employees then pick a name and buy, wrap and address their gift ready for delivery by the care group.


Tracey Tomlinson, Head of Customer Experience, Orchard Care Homes explained what this means to the residents at the home: “Whilst we have plenty of special events and activities within our homes at this time of year, it can be more lonely for those who do not have family and friends nearby, and first direct employees are having a direct impact on the happiness and wellbeing of many of our residents. We’re very thankful.”


Karen Walker, Customer Service Director said:  “At first direct, we’re like one big family – we really care about our people and our customers.  It’s great to see that our people feel so passionately about this that they want to take this beyond our office walls and make a real difference to those in need.”


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