Edinburgh Christmas Cheer: Cards on their way to pensioners

HUNDREDS of Christmas cards will soon be winging their way to pensioners all over the city after kind-hearted residents threw their weight behind an Edinburgh charity's festive appeal.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 6:00 am
Halina Zawadska and volunteer Caitlin Hardie at Vintage Vibes

Stockbridge-based Vintage Vibes launched a drive to deliver cards to dozens of vulnerable elderly residents in the Capital in an effort to end loneliness among those over the age of 65.

The charity, which aims to connect volunteers with elderly residents based on shared interests, previously revealed its volunteering service had a waiting list of 70 people.

Now just a matter of weeks later the Vintage Vibes team has shared its delight after receiving more than 1400 requests from people wanting to send a personalised greeting.

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It is a number which far exceeds their anticipated response of 600 requests, with supporters getting in contact from as far afield as Switzerland, Canada and the Cayman Islands.

Georgia Artus, Vintage Vibes development manager, said the whole team was “in awe” at the level of public response to the “Cosy Christmas” appeal.

She said: “It has been beyond our wildest dreams and we are humbled to know that so many people in Edinburgh want to come together to tackle loneliness.

“We have been inspired and we hope that folks will look out for other exciting ways to get involved in the project in the New Year.”

In addition to people requesting cards, the charity said others had volunteered to come into the office to help with the campaign.

Many others have donated and held fundraisers, while some have found creative ways to complete their cards by writing jokes, poems and creating hand-made designs.

Dozens of the cards were handed over yesterday at the Vintage Vibes Christmas lunch, which was held at the Lifecare Edinburgh Centre.

One VIP - very important pensioner - who is set to benefit is 74-year-old Anna Kane, who said she couldn’t wait to receive her post.

She said: “I really miss receiving cards at Christmas as I don’t know many people and others have drifted away.

“I would love hundreds of Christmas cards and will be looking out for them in the post.”

Su Millar, chief executive of LifeCare, Vintage Vibes’ lead charity partner, added it had been both “touching and wonderful” to see such a tremendous response to the campaign.

She said: “It really is a lovely act of kindness, especially at this time of year, and is so much appreciated by our lovely VIPs.

“Thank you so much to everyone who participated, and if you want to know more, and help more, get in touch.”

The campaign was backed on its launch by Edinburgh-born television Gail Porter, who said she was “delighted” to be giving it her support.

She said at the time: “The smallest things can make the biggest difference to people.

“We often take for granted the little things in life, including receiving cards at Christmas, but for some people it’s the best Christmas gift you could give.”

It comes after a survey conducted by the charity found Edinburgh to be the loneliest city in the UK for over 60s, with more than 11,000 being always or often alone and two in five anticipated to have the TV as their main form of company over this Christmas period.