Harvest festival donations for Crawley Open House

Residents have been busy baking bread and cakes and collecting tins of food to help local families.

Wholemeal tin loaves, cupcakes and Victoria sponges were among the treats coming out of the oven here at Acorn Court care home on The Watercolour Development as part of our harvest festival celebrations.

Residents not only got to enjoy producing hand-baked goods for those in need but chatted over the dough about their memories of providing for the community in their younger years.

The fruits of their labours were matched with donations collected from residents’ families, our care team and a local supermarket, and will help people using the services of Crawley Open House.  The charity supports those in need by providing hostel accommodation, life skills and financial advice, mental health support and food parcels for struggling families.

Our annual harvest festival also saw residents mark the changing of the seasons, celebrate nature’s bounty and discuss the importance of supporting our local community and remember childhood autumnal activities.

Cynthia Woodford, 90, said: “I think it’s just wonderful and it’s for a very good cause. I remember growing up, at harvest we would always give food to the elderly.”

Kay Roscoe, 96, said: “I always like to donate something to the homeless. Times are very tough especially now. I’m glad I can help in a small way. I remember singing the hymn ‘We plough the fields and scatter good seed on the ground.’ That always reminds me of harvest.”

Care service manager Ami Higgins said the residents were determined to do what they could to ‘give back’ to people going through tough times.

“The residents’ families, our neighbours and our team have been busy collecting tins of soup, bags of pasta, teabags, jams, chutneys and other cupboard-friendly food over the past few weeks,” said Ami. “We’ve also had some really generous donations from the Co-op in Merstham.”

Jane Nulty, Crawley Open House’s HR manager, who joined the residents for a cup of tea while collecting the donations, said: “We get through a huge amount of food, both through our hostel kitchen and via the dozens of food parcels we distribute every week. About 75% of what we give out has been donated by lovely people in the community. We are so grateful to everyone connected to Acorn Court for their generosity and support over many years, and being a part of that wonderful supportive community that surrounds us.”

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