A LOCAL care provider which enables older people to remain independent in their own homes has been spreading Easter cheer.

Home Instead, Ilkley, Skipton and Settle, launched ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ campaign in March to benefit their own clients and other older people in the community.

It follows the successful ‘Be a Santa to a Senior campaign’ which ran last year when the company asked local primary schools to create and donate Christmas cards, artwork or messages of love to an older person over the festive season.

Kathy Myers, Community Representative at Home Instead Ilkley, Skipton and Settle said: “In March, we asked local schools to take part in our ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ campaign, following on from the success of our Christmas version.

“It’s never been more important to support older people within our community, especially given many people have felt isolated and lonely as a result of the pandemic.

“We asked local primary schools to create and donate Easter-themed cards, artwork, or messages of love to an older person this Easter.

“We were inundated with responses and had over 400 donations from several local schools. These included fantastic Easter-themed cards and drawings, some amazing letters, beautifully-folded origami koalas and some activity packs that children had created.

“In addition, this year, we’ve been on a mission to help tackle social isolation for older people within our community.

“It’s been a difficult year for older people as many haven’t been able to leave the house for months and much of their community support services haven’t been able to operate because of local lockdown restrictions. Maintaining social interaction is vital for our mental wellbeing and it’s important that we keep our brains active and stimulated with engaging activities.

“This is why we’ve created a third version of our puzzle book that we’ve given to many older people within our community.

“This puzzle book included a range of puzzles, quizzes, word search puzzles and other trivia activities as a way of encouraging people to keep their minds engaged.

“We had a great week distributing the Easter-themed cards and our puzzle books to all of our clients and donated many to other older people.

“These were donated to several community groups around the wider Ilkley area as well as to local care homes or retirement complexes including Burley Hall Care Home, Chesterton Court retirement apartments, Maple Court retirement housing and Straven House Nursing Home .

“This brought some great Easter happiness to the wider community at a time when many people are still affected by the lockdown restrictions.

“We have distributed over 1500 copies of our puzzle book locally through other community groups and GP surgeries as well as sharing over 400 Easter donations from local school children.

“Thank you so much to all of the lovely donations we received from local primary schools - we hope everyone in our community had a happy Easter.”

Contributing schools were:

• Addingham Primary School

• Burley Oaks Primary School

• Westville House School, Ilkley

• All Saints C of E Primary School, Ilkley

• Ashlands Primary School, Ilkley

• Askwith Primary School