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Last month, our Chain Reaction service began to deliver wellbeing boxes to older people who are shielding, to help keep spirits high! We’d like to thank all involved in making sure these boxes were filled, packed, and delivered to those who need them!

Chain Reaction supports older people in Newcastle, and during lockdown we have been particularly helping those who are living alone or are unable to leave the house.

Many of the people we support do not have family living locally, or in some cases, have no family at all. Many of the people we support also do not have access to online resources or social media, so they were finding it increasingly difficult to stay connected to others. As a result, our staff and volunteers noticed that people were beginning to struggle with low mood during this strange and uncertain time.

Our Chain Reaction team came up with the brilliant idea to provide wellbeing boxes to boost people’s moods and provide some positive activities to do at home. The boxes included craft materials, tasty snacks, flower and vegetable seeds and potting materials, playing cards, and many other items which help to keep spirits high!

Two members of one of our creative writing groups wrote two short stories to be included in the boxes, and people were absolutely delighted to receive their boxes. Recipients have already been in touch to share stories of their flowers blooming – we have even heard rumours of tomatoes beginning to grow!

It has been lovely to hear stories of people starting up new hobbies or engaging with previously-loved pastimes that they had not done for years.

To fund the creation of the boxes, the team used donations from our Extra Mile Fund along with a £200 cheque from Newcastle Building Society! ASDA Cramlington also kindly donated items to go into the boxes. We would like to thank all of the team at Chain Reaction, and those at ASDA and Newcastle Building Society, without whom none of this would have been possible!

The Extra Mile Fund is made up of your kind donations. If you’d like to support us, please email or visit our JustGiving page.

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