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Christmas gifts for the kindest in our communities

Published 23 December 2020

This year, WDH launched a campaign to find the unsung heroes that have helped others during the pandemic, to give them a festive surprise just in time for Christmas. 

Members of the public were asked to nominate WDH tenants who have shown kindness to others during this particularly difficult year for a chance to win a special gift as a token of gratitude. We were inundated with nominations and received over 200 stories of kindness from across the Wakefield district.

All nominations were entered into a prize draw where 12 generous people chosen at random to receive a special Christmas surprise. Read about the 12 winners and their act of kindness:

  • The first winner, who wishes to stay anonymous, was nominated for helping other people by delivering their shopping and doing odd jobs like cutting the grass.
  • Hazel Winstanley from Eastmoor was nominated for selflessly taking care of her family in difficult times. Even on bad days, she has always put others first.
  • Claire Wilson from Castleford was nominated for bringing some much-needed Christmas cheer to children by delivering hot chocolate cones and selection boxes in festive costumes. Claire fundraised the activity through Facebook by organising raffles and donations to spread joy after a difficult year.
  • Leah Muggleton from Altofts helped her neighbours settle into a new community and supported them through the pandemic. She helped her new neighbours have a fresh start.
  • Gillian Morris from Crofton truly showed inner strength to care for others while dealing with her own personal strife by shopping for older people in the community, picking up prescriptions for vulnerable people and fundraising for the Crofton football team.
  • Colin Place from Fitzwilliam who was nominated by his neighbour for sharing his home-grown fruit and vegetables with residents in their communal courtyard and for showing true community spirit by brightening everyone’s day with a friendly chat.
  • A Kettlethorpe shop owner, Amit Pugal has made sure his community had everything they needed such as bread, milk, flour, toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. He started a delivery service for people who were self isolating and even made up lunchboxes for children who were off school.
  • Helen Hampshire from Horbury was nominated for her amazing support for a child in need in her community. During lockdown, she helped to arrange early Christmas cards, so a little boy with a brain tumour could have his last Christmas in September 2020. The campaign went viral and the boy received cards and gifts from all over the world. He sadly passed away a few weeks later.
  • Enid Dutton from Upton goes above and beyond for all her neighbours without a second thought. She grows her own fruit and vegetables and shares it with residents in the communal courtyard. She's a friendly face who's happy to chat and spread cheer to the residents.
  • Paula Humberstone from Hemsworth has gone the extra mile helping vulnerable people during these difficult times. She has volunteered to deliver meals and do the shopping for people in her community as well as giving her time to talk to people who were self isolating.
  • Maureen Smith from Castleford was nominated for checking up on her older neighbours in Castleford with telephone calls to prevent them becoming lonely. Every week she phoned to help a neighbour with sight problems by reading the newspaper.
  • Michelle Stead from Ackworth was nominated for her dedication to her work as a nurse during the pandemic. Working on the NHS front-line, she made the heart-breaking decision to isolate herself from her family for weeks to keep them and her patients safe. 

Andy Wallhead, WDH’s Chief Executive said: “In these times where negativity seems to be all around us, we wanted to celebrate the good in our communities at Christmas time. We know that there are so many people out there that do good deeds on a daily basis, without a second thought. Congratulations to all the winners, I hope the gifts go some way to showing how appreciated you are. Thank you to every single person who was nominated for showing kindness to others and for having a positive impact in our communities.”

To continue with the community kindness theme, the winner’s prizes were purchased from small local businesses who have been hit hard by pandemic. We want to recognise them as well and say thank you to Binns’ Bakes, Reggie's sweets and treats, The Duck Egg Bakery, Sensology Home Fragrance, K Treats, Adams Bakery, Let’s Get Lathered, Betsy's - Cake and Coffee House, Squires Family Deli, Celebration Corner and The Little Chalet Kitchen.

Thank you to all who participated in this Christmas Kindness Competition. We are proud of our people and our communities. 

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