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A Window into Abbeyfield

HALCYON House, a residential care home in Formby, have given their windows a makeover to reflect the spirit of the festive season, with a touching story about a woman who recently lost her husband.

The house's windows were painted by Liam Brown. Liam started working for Halcyon House as a carer to help fund his University studies, and then assumed an administrative role during the Covid19 Pandemic. He is studied illustration at University, and now likes to take on freelance jobs to help build his portfolio whilst continuing to work for Halcyon House.

Halcyon House is part of The Abbeyfield Society, which leads the worldwide Abbeyfield Family of over 370 care homes, sheltered housing schemes and independent living complexes that are home to more than 8,000 older people. The Society's mission is to alleviate loneliness that many older people experience. Their unique model of retirement living provides the opportunity for new friendships to develop through the provision of communal living spaces, shared mealtimes and a varied schedule of social activities, while residents are encouraged to maintain their connections with their local community.

Liam explains:- "We hold regular staff team meetings every week, and we often reflect on what we feel are the most important things about Abbeyfield; our warmth, our compassion, and a place where people can find companionship in later life. The story of the illustration is of a Grandmother who has recently lost her husband. She is sad and lonely, but her young grandson comes up with a plan to cheer her up; he builds a snowman that looks just like his grandfather. The woman is so happy with what her little grandson had done for her and it cheers her up in time for Christmas."

Liam painted across the windows of Halcyon House's dining room, where residents spend their mealtimes together, with each window telling part of the story. The windows can be seen by passers by making their way to and from the playing fields close to the house, and they soon attracted quite a crowd of onlookers who stopped to watch Liam at work and to follow his story.

Abbeyfield houses and homes have been encouraged to decorate their windows and doorways for the festive season, in order to provide:- A Window into Abbeyfield at Christmas' for the local neighbourhood, and Abbeyfield is sharing the photos across its social media channels using the hashtag:- #WindowIntoAbbeyfield; which can also be seen on 1 of Liam's windows.

Word of Liam's talent has spread far and wide and he has had offers of further work. The manager of a nursey as far afield as Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, asked if he would create something similar for the nursery to inspire the children; what a compliment!


If you would like to find our more about life at Halcyon House for yourself or a loved 1, please visit:- Abbeyfield.Com or call:- 08081699823. The house provides 24/7 care, has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces and is fully wheelchair accessible. Respite stays are also available and can serve as an introduction to longer term residential care.

Winter warmer bundles provide emergency help as cold weather bites

AS wintry weather takes hold, a winter warmer bundle provided by a charity's trading arm is flying off the shelves to help people on a low income keep warm and cook a hot meal in the months ahead, while keeping energy bills down. 
The winter warmer bundle includes items such as a thick blanket, oil filled radiator, microwave, slow cooker and air fryer and is being supplied to grant-makers trying to keep people warm and fed. 
It has been put together by Family Fund Business Services, the trading arm of charity Family Fund, the UK's largest grant-making charity for families with disabled and seriously ill children, living on a low income.   
Family Fund supports families with grantsfor essential items such as:- kitchen appliances, clothing, bedding, sensory toys, computers and tablets, much needed family breaks.   
The charity used its expertise in procuring large quantities of essential goods from suppliers, to set up its own company, Family Fund Business Services, which gifts 100% of its profits back to the charity.
Phil Henderson, Director Of Family Fund Business Services said:- "For our winter warmer bundle we have worked hard to get urgent access to value-for-money quantities of air fryers, slow cookers, thick blankets and oil filled radiators from suppliers. This means that they are readily, and easily, available for organisations such as Local Authorities and other charities to provide them for people struggling with the cost of living this winter and seeking emergency help to keep warm and make hot food.  The demand for our winter bundle is growing by the day." 

Family Fund Business Services secures income through its expertise and collective buying power for essential goods with suppliers. It works on behalf of other charities, Local Authorities and housing associations seeking to help people in need
It provides value for money, easy access to thousands of essential products, including:- washing machines, furniture, energy vouchers and food vouchers for organisations supporting those facing hardship, such as:- veterans, refugees and those struggling financially to meet their most basic needs. 
Phil Henderson added:- "The winter warmer bundles demonstrate a unique business model which delivers social value twice over. The expertise of Family Fund Business Services in securing cost effective contracts for essential goods with suppliers,  means the money of local Councils, charities and other organisations goes further to help those in greatest need. But its work also helps to secure the future of the Family Fund charity so that Family Fund, in turn, can carry on its vital work of helping even more families with disabled children on a low income."  
Profits from Family Fund Business Services has helped the charity significantly increase its reach. Last year, Family Fund provided over 170,919 grants and services worth over £37 million to families across the UK.

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