Wetherby childminder backs festive postal push as WiSE scheme hits 1,000 landmark

A Wetherby childminder is backing a charity campaign to give smiles to older people this Christmas, as the scheme she supports clocks up its 1,000th piece of post.

Claire Airey has supplied dozens of cards for Wetherby In Support of the Elderly’s (WiSE) ‘Send A Smile’ initiative, by turning crafty creations made by children under her care into cards which are then sent to older people across the district.

Now she wants others- and their children- to get involved ahead of the charity’s big festive postal push.

Claire said: “The children I look after learn so much through craft activities, they love painting and being creative, so I knew we could send cards regularly for the scheme. We talked about how we were going to send them to some older people who might live on their own and how our pictures would make them smile.

“We make lots of different cards –but we are well known for the hand printed designs. We recently sent WiSE hand printed cards of Queen Elizabeth ll following her sad death. We sent HM King Charles lll one too, and just got a reply!

“As a childminder and a parent of three children we’ve always seen how happy our elder relatives are when they receive a picture or a homemade card from the children so we decided we would do the same to elderly in Wetherby too. 

“We love stopping and chatting to the older people in Wetherby on our walk. The children always put a smile on people’s faces when they see us. Now it’s getting colder and darker we imagine a lot of people will be staying indoors a little bit more, so having some lovely post will cheer up what could be long days.”

It is easy to take part in the Send a Smile Scheme. Simply make a card, draw a picture or write a letter to make an older person smile.

Cards can be posted or dropped to the office at WiSE, The One Stop Centre, Westgate, Wetherby, LS22 6NL. The cut off date for receiving Christmas cards needs to be no later than the end of November to ensure they reach a recipient on time. There is no deadline for regular cards.

People over 60 can also be nominated to receive a card, by emailing smile@w-ise.org.uk or by phoning 01937 588994. If you are an older person and would like to receive the post, you can also contact the charity.

For more information about the Send a Smile Scheme visit www.w-ise.org.uk/our-services/#smile

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