Dean Court Hotel in the heart of York, sitting in the shadow of York Minster is helping to spread Christmas cheer in the city this year, after teaming up with Xmas Presence to offer gifts to people alone during the festive period.
Using funds from The Inn Collection Group’s Give Inn Back initiative the Dean Court team worked with supplier Ringtons Tea to secure 100 hampers that will be gifted to lonely older people on December 25.
Packed full of tea, coffee, biscuits and cookies, the hampers will be used by “Xmas Presence” to lift the spirits of lonely older people and people who suffer with dementia on Christmas Day.
The donation was the brainchild of Dean Court’s assistant manager Rebecca Hardcastle and saw her reunite with the projects driving force, York musician Big Ian Donaghy, who was her head of year whilst a pupil at Lowfield’s School back in the early 2000’s.
Hardcastle said: “The Give Inn Back fund lets us as staff support causes important to us and our communities and Xmas Presence is such a worthwhile cause.
“We wanted to use some of our funds and make them go as far as possible and thanks to the head office team and Ringtons, they have delivered some great gifts that we’ve given to the project.
“Mr D was a great teacher; he does a brilliant job in getting this all organised and put together and I’m just delighted that we’ve been able to play a part this Christmas.”
First established in 2015, Xmas Presence is a project that galvanises individuals and organisations from across the city to help alleviate the sadness of the older generation caused by loneliness at Christmas time.
Embracing the motto no-one should have no-one, Xmas Presence transports people from across York to enjoy Christmas dinner, entertainment and presents, all delivered by volunteers and support through establishments like Dean Court.
A York Community Pride award winner, campaigner and author of A Pocketful of Kindness, Donaghy said: “Christmas is a magnifying glass. If you’re happy you’re happier but if you are having a tough time it can make it seem tougher.
We hope that bringing people together will help in some small way. Thank you to the generosity of the Dean Court and to all of the community in the city who are amazing.”