Elderly and vulnerable Istead Rise residents were thrilled to receive a lovely surprise last week when a pot of golden daffodils arrived on their doorstep, brought by children and members of staff from Istead Rise Kiddiecare Kindergarten.
Head of Kiddiecare, Jugan Sahota explained: “During the last term the children have been learning about social awareness – hope, kindness and loneliness – particularly amongst the elderly and vulnerable community during the pandemic. We subsequently met with Cllr Dibben in order to come up with some ideas as to how we could work together to promote all these aspects within the Istead Rise community”. And thus the daffodils idea was born.
So how did they take this idea forward? Jugan explains: “We purchased and prepared 500 daffodil plants which could be delivered to the elderly and vulnerable within the community as a gift of hope for a brighter future. We wanted to show that although they might be shielding and out of sight, they are not forgotten and are in our thoughts”. Staff and children worked together to prepare the plants, and a card with a message of hope: “Just as this plant will grow and blossom up towards the sun, keep looking up for the brighter days. Know we are all thinking of you. From all the children and staff at Kiddiecare”.
Close to the National Day of Reflection, the daffodils and cards were delivered by the school leavers along with staff, Cllr Dibben, pupils from Istead Rise Primary School, and Duke of Edinburgh ’Street Champions’ from local secondary schools. The response by the lucky residents was overwhelming, with pictures and messages of gratitude posted on social media. The children were thrilled by such a positive response, and as Jugan said: “They saw for themselves how a small gesture like a plant could make people happy and bring a smile to their faces”.
Reflecting on the success of the project, Cllr Dibben said: “The response from the community has been truly outstanding, I have been touched by how the community has come together to support this project, and I would like to thank everyone for their support”. Jugan was similarly delighted with the result and was keen to thank everyone for their commitment saying: “All staff and parents have been proactively helping in this project. It gives them a great sense of pride and contentment in helping those who have been hit hardest due to the coronavirus, and all the staff and children thoroughly enjoyed delivering the plants”.
Meanwhile, comments from the children aptly describe their pleasure at seeing the result of their efforts.
Zachary: “We are making people happy, giving them flowers and helping them if they fall over”.
Aaliyah: “We are learning about love”.
Leo: “We will give all people smiles when we give them daffodils, and this will make them happy”.
To commemorate the project and wish everyone a Happy Easter, a musical video has been produced at the nursery which can be shared with the community.