Thousands of Easter eggs are being delivered to South Wales care homes

Volunteers are planning an all-singing, all-dancing celebration for elderly in lockdown

A CARDIFF committee has arranged to deliver thousands of chocolate eggs to care homes across South Wales, with some receiving a special Easter performance.  

Mr Bridgeman and granddaughter Esme dressed in Easter costumes to collect donations from ISG Cardiff.

“These people in these care homes have given enough for us and I think we should be giving more back than they’re receiving right now but it’s taken a pandemic for us to realise that,” said Chris Bridgeman, chairman of the Christmas for Care Homes committee.

The volunteers have collected 3,320 Easter eggs that will be donated to 36 care homes across Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Brecon and Caerphilly before Easter weekend.

The appeal for eggs has been so successful that the team has also been making donations to children’s homes, women’s refuges, Tŷ Hafan, Barnardo’s and local food banks over the last two weeks.

Between 15 and 20 volunteers plan to perform a rendition of Bill Withers’ Lean on Me outside 16 of the homes while residents watch from indoors.

To ensure the safety of those involved, risk assessments have been carried out for every home and the police have been informed of the group’s intentions.

The staff of each facility will receive a home-made Easter hamper from the committee.

The group was first formed in November last year by Mr Bridgeman and his daughter, who works in a care home, as a way to do something for the elderly for Christmas.

The Facebook group was named “Christmas for Care Homes” and quickly grew to over 1,400 members.

The success of the Christmas donations spurred on Mr Bridgeman to start another appeal.

He said: “It just seemed a shame to leave it there after such a big thing at Christmas, so I put a committee together from members who joined the group,

“I told them I had this idea about trying to gather as many Easter eggs as possible for the care homes, I didn’t expect it to go as well as the Christmas period, but it’s just exploded.”

Donna Sticker, senior supervisor of the New Road Blakemore Retail Spar hands over a donation of cakes from McVities.

Teri Knight, team manager for Taffs Well Ladies RFC is also a member of the committee and has relied on the team to promote the appeal across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

She said: “Without the team, I wouldn’t be able to do it, I’m just the spokesperson for all the work they are doing.”

The club has a history of fundraising and charity work, which is at the heart of its ethos.

“We didn’t start the team to play rugby, we started it to raise money, the rugby came later, and I think it’s important for us to remember where we started from.

“Doing it collectively as a team makes it easy work and if we can help people, that’s what we’re all about,” added Mrs Knight.

The committee has been responsible for quarantining the eggs for two weeks and sanitising the packaging before the final deliveries take place on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28.

Alison Lucas, from Llantwit Major, collected 311 eggs for the appeal and will be part of the performance this weekend.

 “I can’t see all of this suffering and not try to do something to help somebody in some way,” said Mrs Lucas.

Mr Bridgeman, his step-granddaughter, Grace (9), founding group member, Rachel Jordan, goddaughters, Olivia (6) and Eve (4) and granddaughter Esme (15 months), dressed up for a collection from Asda.

“I just wanted the people in the homes to know that they’re not alone in their rooms, people genuinely think about them and care about them.”

Mr Bridgeman has plenty more plans for the group before the next Christmas appeal such as summer garden parties in the care homes and a ball for the volunteers.

The committee is also keen to hear volunteers’ ideas for appeals and plans for the coming months.

  • You can read about Taffs Well Ladies RFC’s other charitable efforts here.
  • If you would like to volunteer, you can join the Christmas for Care Homes Facebook page here.