Advent Angels – Day 22

Today we’ve delivered to some fabulous local people for our Advent Angels treats.

We weren’t surprised that our first Angel, Carol Callis, was nominated. For years she has held multiple voluntary roles with different local charities and the local Church community, including a bookings clerk for the Community 2000 Hall and as a treasurer for both the Drop In (youth centre) and Portland United Youth Football Club. A big thank from all of us for everything you’ve done Carol. And thank you too to Milli Threadwell for the gorgeous hamper of Avon goodies.

Trish and Eddie Johnson were nominated by their granddaughter Abbii Louise for, ‘Being the type of people who would move mountains to help others.’ We’re told that they have kept their family going despite the struggles of lockdown and Eddie’s health. We hope they enjoy their beautifully handmade Christmas Cake.

Lastly, Peter Vallance, who was nominated by his wife for a treat to show how much she appreciates him and how hard he has worked all year, despite living with a chronic lung problem and constant pain. We’re told he has been a great support at home also and would like to wish them both a cosy, restful Christmas.

Advent Angels – Day 21

Today we were in Underhill for all of our Advent Angels deliveries, surprising local people with treats donated by their community.

First up, Ashley Talbot, who was nominated by her mum as a, ‘Well done, I’m so proud of how you’ve coped through lockdown with four children.’ We were delighted to surprise Ashley with panto tickets, chocolates and fizz.

Next, Alison Purnell – nominated by her friend Nikki for supporting her through one of the most challenging times of her life. Nikki told us she couldn’t have managed without Alison’s warmth, kindness and help – what a fabulous neighbour.

Scott Bradshaw was third on today’s list. He was nominated by his friend Jamie as a, ‘Well done,’ for working so hard through the lockdown periods, starting his new food delivery business and helping those in isolation.

Fourth, Dean O’Hara – nominated by his partner as a, ‘Thank you,’ for all the practical and emotional support he gave her and their children this year while she was unwell. Dean was a real rock, taking over the reigns of family life and keeping everything on track without complaint when she needed it.

Lastly, Mr Tom Hobden. Although we didn’t manage to get a photo of Tom, he seemed very happy with his delivery after being nominated by his wife Tracie to cheer him up at the end of a difficult year in which he unexpectedly lost his brother.

Show Us Your Baubles

A few more Show Us Your Baubles – Golden Baubles discovered across the Island, including Chesil Beach and the Governor’s Gardens. There are still three more out there, but with a deadline of Wednesday 23rd December to get them into the ICA office you’d better keep your eyes peeled.

Additional baubles, created by local residents, have also been discovered. Brilliant stuff!

Advent Angels – Day 20

Just two Advent Angels deliveries for today and one opted out of having her photo taken, so we’ve added one of the fabulous Liz Duckworth dropping in her festive fruit loaves, which several of our winners have received.

The first photo is of Maggie Hakes (an absolute lockdown hero) who was nominated by her sister for a festive treat. Maggie has been isolating since March with her husband and daughter, both of whom are wheelchair users and need masses of support and care from Maggie. Due to their health and mobility issues Maggie hasn’t even been able to go to the supermarket, ir even for a drive or walk. Yet she has still made sure her elderly neighbour has a regular hot meal and online shopping deliveries. What a star!

Second up was Sarah Long who was nominated by her long time friend Anita. Sarah has had a really challenging year personally, which we know she has struggled with. Nevertheless, throughout these challenges, she has continued to work throughout in one of the highest risk frontline jobs – a dental nurse at Fortuneswell Dental Practice. Thank you Sarah from your community. We hope our little delivery helped to cheer your spirits.

Advent Angels – Day 19

Another three people surprised with Christmas gifts donated by their community as part of our Advent Angels project.

Firstly, the lovely Shelia Hill who was nominated to cheer her up after being locked in alone since March, but has still been active supporting friends on the phone and donating prizes and presents to various local initiatives.

Secondly, Mrs Ann Barker, nominated by her daughter-in-law, Kara, as a thank you for all her help and emotionally and practically with things like shopping whilst they were in isolation on a reduced income.

Mr James Birtwell (who didn’t want a photo), an ICA volunteer who has driven our cars and minibus for many years, taking older people to the supermarket twice a week, to hospital for procedures and to many other essential appointments. James always goes out of his way to support his passengers, whether it’s helping them with their shopping bags or making sure they get in and out of their homes safely.

Merry Christmas to them all xxx

Advent Angels – Day 18

Four more fabulous local people surprised tonight for Advent Angels, with a, ‘Thank you and Merry Christmas,’ from their friends, family and Island’s community.

First up Hannah Barnwell, who was nominated a few times by friends that she has helped over COVID-19 with food shops when they have been struggling financially. We know Hannah also cares for two older people with severe health problems, alongside bringing up her family and trying to adapt to keep her own business afloat through the restrictions. Hannah donated a fabulous high tea for one of our earlier Advent Angels, so it was a real pleasure to be able to surprise her tonight with some bits donated by Jools Mason and a cake she didn’t have to bake from Liz Duckworth.

Secondly we visited the wonderful Richard Cox who was nominated by his wife Jayne for all the care and support he has shown her as she recovered from a stroke earlier this year. Richard has for many years helped Jayne with her volunteering for 1st Portland Scouts, driving minibuses and filling their lounge with Beaver and Cub equipment, so a huge thank you to him from us all. Thanks to Kellie and the team at: Portland Magic for the bottle of Port and to Liz Duckworth for the amazing fruit loaf.

Last up were Jackie and Richard Taylor who were nominated by their daughter Kellie for simply being the best parents ever, despite the difficulties they have both faced with their own health and job situations. We understand it has been a very difficult few years, which included the loss of Jackie’s mum and dad. Yet through all of these challenges Jackie continued in her key worker role, caring for local elderly and vulnerable people throughout lockdown. Huge thank you to Tesco, Portland for their generous donation of a £50 gift card to get Christmas off to a bang in this household.

Advent Angels – Day 17

Today’s Advent Angels deliveries were all about the ladies.

We were so excited to surprise Mrs Rebecca Hall, Portland’s oldest lady at 103yrs. Her daughter Chris nominated her for being the most wonderful mum who never asks for anything for herself. Thanks to Amy Roff for the perfect Christmas cake, Maggie Yates for the lovely plant and Janet Newton for the beautiful hand quilted knee blanket.

Mrs Mary Roberts was also surprised to see us, especially as she has now been bed bound for some time, only seeing her carers and daughter. We were delighted to be able to break up the boredom with a quick, socially distanced visit and some prezzies to show her the community still care and are thinking of all our older residents who have been isolated for so long now.

Finally we popped some bits to Mrs Shelia Hall, who was nominated by her friend Sarah Hunter as a, ‘Thank you,’ for all the help she gave her whilst Sarah was incapacitated with a broken arm, despite dealing with the grief of losing her eldest son. Wishing them all a very Merry Christmas from their community.