Chrysalis sends out festive cheer

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A Cumbrian charity that supports adults with learning disabilities has been spreading the Christmas cheer by sending out more than 80 festive gift boxes.

Earlier this week, Chrysalis sent each of its service users across the north of the county a package full of treats and party goods thanks to a generous donation from a member of the public. 

The charity couldn’t host its regular Christmas meal and disco this year, so in lieu of a proper celebration, they are hosting an online event. 

Chrysalis (Cumbria) charity prepare and dispatch Christmas support and festivity packages. Photographs at their King Street premises in Wigton. // (l-r) Martyn Dixon from Cumbria X-Press; Claire Doherty, Chrysalis Chief Officer. PHOTOGRAPHY: HARRY ATKINSON

Chrysalis Chief Officer Claire Doherty said: “We wanted to do something to keep in touch with everyone and let people know we are thinking about them.

“Everybody that we support regularly, either by telephone, virtually, on-site and with our out-reach workers, has been sent a gift box and there are some items in there that they can use to celebrate Christmas or join in with our virtual Christmas party.

“We did a similar thing in the summer by sending everyone an afternoon tea package and it was really popular, so we thought it would be a good idea to do something for Christmas. A member of the public called Mike McCrickland donated £500 after hearing about us through the Masons, and wanted to help.”

Chrysalis was established as a charity in 1996, and provides individuals across North Cumbria with access to a wide range of both leisure and educational activities through one to one support, group activities and holidays.

Claire said that this year has been the most challenging in the history of the organisation. 

She added: “It has been incredibly tough at times, but we’ve rallied together and adapted well.

“We’ve been incredibly innovative this year in responding to the crisis, and there are elements such as our virtual activities that we will be including in our core delivery going forwards.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people we support and their families, our amazing staff, trustees, local businesses, Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group for their ongoing support during this difficult year.

“We look forward to better things to come in 2021 and wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.”

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