Bringing cheer at Christmas

FOR Emma Addison, Christmas is about spreading a bit of festive cheer among the elderly and vulnerable who are at home alone.

Emma is a carer and has worked at Christmas every year since she took the job on six years ago.

This year she will be visiting people all day Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

“It’s the thought of people being on their own all the time, and it’s a special time of year,” she said.

“A lot of people don’t see what I see. The job is quite heart wrenching.

“Many people don’t have any family and Christmas is more of a sad time of year than anything else. People say they don’t really bother with Christmas.”

The kind-hearted 40-year-old, who visits people every day to help them shower and dress, make their meals and do their shopping, takes them a box or biscuits on Christmas Day, and sings them Christmas carols.

“I am the only face that they see on Christmas Day,” she said. “I make a little fuss of them, take them a box of biscuits and sing them some Christmas carols.

“I even put my flashing Santa earrings on!,” she said.

“People are so grateful. They give you a big hug and they don’t expect to see you. They will say to me ‘it’s Christmas’, surprised I have turned up.”

“It’s what people need. They would go stir crazy staring at the four walls,” she said.

Emma looks after ten people on a regular daily basis, mainly in Eastwood and Kimberley.

Last winter she bought milk and bread in her spare time for people who were trapped in their homes because of the snow.

“A lot of it you do in your own time,” she said. “Just doing extra little things like that, they couldn’t be more thankful. If you’re 90 and you run out of milk it’s the end of the world!”

“It’s the best job in the world I think personally.”

Nottinghamshire County Council co-ordinates care for pensioners and adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or mental health issues.

In total 6,517 people were provided with home care in 2010/11 by Nottinghamshire County Council and 928 were in the Broxtowe borough.

For more information call the Nottinghamshire County Council contact centre on 08449 80 80 80 or go online to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/social_care