Residents of a Cork care centre have seen an increased amount of post coming through the letterbox this Christmas.
Haven Bay Care Centre in Kinsale has been receiving letters and packages of all shapes and sizes under An Post’s recent initiative recognising visiting restrictions in nursing homes across the country.
An Post has ensured the free delivery of all card and letter mail posted to and from residents of nursing and care homes in the state until January 31 next year.
People can avail of the free postage by writing FREEPOST where the stamp would normally be affixed with An Post carrying cards, letters, large envelopes and packets weighing up to 2kg without the postage stamp.
Activities coordinator at Haven Bay, Deirdre Mullins, said that residents have been “delighted” to see so many cards and packages being received.
“We’ve had a great reaction to people getting the cards. It’s a lovely initiative and people are delighted with it. It's lovely to see people getting gifts and cards this Christmas,” she said.
Ms Mullins said that although it will be a very different Christmas for residents in terms of visitation restrictions and not being able to spend it with family members and friends, that various activities will still be held.
“We made our own postcards that were sent to family and friends and to our musicians and volunteers also. We’ve also sent out our Christmas cards and have two schools giving us cards that they’ve made themselves and the Cork Volunteer Centre have given us a batch too which is lovely to utilise,” she said.
The Christmas trees are already up in anticipation of the festive season and Ms Mullins said that the “very productive” residents also made their own bunting.
The schools and community groups who would usually come to the centre to sing for the residents are organising Zoom calls instead and a live-streamed pantomime is also being organised.
What would normally be one big Christmas party with all involved will now see people split into smaller sized groups in order to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions and cookery demonstrations in smaller groups will also take place.
“The hardest part is we can’t share it with our family and friends this year but we’re finding our feet like everyone else,” Ms Mullins said.