A LOCAL care provider which enables older people to remain independent in their own homes has been spreading Easter cheer across the wider Ilkley area.

Home Instead Ilkley, Skipton and Settle, launched their ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ campaign in March to send to their own clients and other older people in the community. This campaign asked local primary schools to create and donate Easter-themed cards, artwork, or messages of love to an older person.

They were inundated with responses and had over 700 donations from local schools including Addingham Primary School, All Saints C of E Primary School (Ilkley), Ashlands Primary School (Ilkley), Burley Oaks Primary School (Burley-in-Wharfedale), Crossflatts Primary School, East Morton C of E Primary School and Menston Primary School.

A spokesperson for Home Instead said: "Maintaining social interaction is vital for our mental wellbeing and it's important that we keep our brains active and stimulated with engaging activities. To support this, Home Instead also created a Spring puzzle book that has been given to older people across the area along with Easter cards designed by the school children.

"Over 1000 copies of the puzzle book have been distributed locally to other community groups (such as Ilkley Good Neighbours, Addingham Good Neighbours, Burley Dementia Friends, Otley Action for Older People (OAOP), Ilkley Library Memory Corner and GP surgeries. Several local care homes and retirement complexes also received the puzzle book along with the Easter donations from the school children. Home Instead clients received the puzzle books too along with the Easter cards and an Easter egg."

Simon White, Director of Home Instead Ilkley, Skipton and Settle added: “In March, we asked local schools to take part in our ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ campaign, following on from the success of our Christmas version.”

“It’s never been more important to support older people within our community, especially given many people have felt isolated and lonely as a result of the pandemic. Sending cards and puzzle books to older people is a great way of helping and we had a lovely week distributing the Easter-themed cards and puzzle books to all of our clients and other older people in the area. This brought some great Easter happiness to the wider community.”