A Christmas wreath on the front door says welcome – and people who live at Livability York House love to welcome people to their home. This week, they invited the community to join them in a Christmas wreathmaking class, to brighten up doors in West Yorkshire.
The idea came from manager Helen Holt, who attended a local craft class last Christmas. ‘I enjoyed it so much and thought it was something we could do at York House, make it a bigger event because we’ve got the space, and invite others to join us.’
Livability York House Ossett, near Wakefield, is home to 16 disabled adults, many of whom volunteer locally and take part in community life wherever possible.
Florist Helen Fish, who runs local business Amaryllis Floral Design, was keen to take part: ‘I said yes, why not? I know quite a few of the people from York House, because they come into the shop. Everyone should be able to get involved so I just had a think about how it would work.’
People who live at Livability York House invited local people to join in, helped along by mince pies and a glass or two of mulled wine. The group created wreaths from scratch, using spruce and holly on a frame, with cinnamon, ribbon and baubles for decoration. Several of the group have given the wreaths to family members as an early Christmas present ‘which they’ve loved’, says staff member Dee Preston.
‘It was brilliant, to be honest! It was something different,’ says Susan, who lives at this service. ‘I loved putting it all together and seeing the end result. It was great to meet new people and see some different faces – my sister was with me as well which was extra special.’
Showing off his finished wreath, Susan’s housemate Peter agrees: ‘I really enjoyed it’ I made it all by myself you know, every single part. It was fun, fun, fun. Do you like it? I’m really good, aren’t I?’
An accessible event like this is a great way of trying new things together, Helen Fish finds: ‘People often tell me they’re not creative and they’ll never be able to do this, but I say “don’t worry, you don’t have to be creative, we’ll show you how”. They love it, there’s always a lovely atmosphere.’
Why do Livability staff invest time and effort in supporting residents to engage with activities like this, at the busiest time of the year? ‘At Livability, we’re not just about meeting people’s care needs, we care about their wellbeing too,’ says manager Helen. ‘And I think that a Christmassy event, where you aim for and create something achievable, and share this experience with the others in the group, is therapeutic and can give a real boost.’
This was certainly Ashaq’s experience: ‘I really liked the nice lady that came here. And it was really nice to start my Christmas off with really nice people.’ Ashaq’s enjoyment didn’t stop at being creative: ‘One of my favourite parts was eating mince pies in between making the wreath!’
Livability York House is the subject of this year’s Christmas fundraising appeal. Find out how your giving could support the people that live at the home at Christmas and all year round. Visit our Christmas appeal page to learn more and make a Christmas donation.
Your giving can help the work of Livability York House and other care services across the UK. Thank you for your support.