Halton firefighters bring festive cheer and hampers to people living alone

Runcorn and Widnes World: Firefighters Will Cowell from Widnes presents a festive hamper to Mrs Connolly Firefighters Will Cowell from Widnes presents a festive hamper to Mrs Connolly

FIREFIGHTERS across Halton brought festive cheer to older people who were alone over Christmas by popping in for tea and a chat.

Crews from Runcorn and Widnes visited 12 homes.

Runcorn white watch manager, Gav Hanson, said: “We were received with open arms by all and a few tears were shed on occasion. Each customer we visited had our undivided attention for as long as they wanted. We had a good old chat, mince pies, scones and a brew.

“The whole day was a truly heart warming experience and I sincerely believe that we have changed a few people’s Christmases for the better.”

The idea for the visits came from Runcorn’s white watch, who wanted to bring a bit of joy to the lives of people for who may otherwise have been on their own this Christmas. They enlisted the support of their colleagues in Widnes and Halton Council who helped identify a number older people in the borough who would appreciate a visit and a chat.

Firefighters also gave hampers to everyone they visited.

Halton Clr Stef Nelson, vice chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority, said: “This was a really fantastic initiative that I am certain made a difference to the people that were visited. I would like to thank the crews for their efforts in spreading some festive cheer to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Halton Clr Marie Wright, board member for older people’s services, added: “We are really pleased that the fire and rescue service has come up with this lovely festive idea of visiting older people for a cup of tea and a chat and a present. It’s nice that they raised the funds for the visit themselves.

“As a council we are working hard to identify and support people who are lonely. Most people are probably unaware that loneliness accounts for more illness than smoking and obesity. Christmas time is a period when the pain of loneliness can be particularly difficult to bear so we are especially grateful to the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for these visits.”



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