A Sheffield charity is asking individuals, businesses and other organisations to ‘give, as well as receive’ this advent by compiling a hamper of essential goods for isolated older people. 

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) wants people to club together to build up a collection of non-perishable items – ranging from tinned food to sweets – to help the city’s over 65s who face the long, Covid winter alone. 

Under the charity’s ‘reverse advent calendar’ initiative, people should put an item of food in a box which will add up after 24 days to a hamper of vital supplies. 

Mark Storey, Chief Executive at SCCCC, said: “Advent calendars are a centuries old tradition which have had a new lease of life lately with gin, beer and even make up hiding behind each door for many people nowadays.  

“Christmas is a time for giving, a time to share, a time to think of people less fortunate than ourselves, especially this year. So we’re asking people to give a little something over advent with the supplies we’ve listed, essential to keeping an older person healthy, happy and fed this winter.” 

SCCCC was set up more than 50 years ago to support the over 65s in Sheffield. It works alongside Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and other care agencies to achieve its mission of improving wellbeing, and reducing isolation and loneliness in the city’s older community.

Due to the pandemic, face to face visits as part of the Good Neighbours Scheme have been paused again, leaving many older people more isolated and vulnerable than ever before.  

Contents for the hamper include UHT milk, tea and coffee, tinned fish, rice pudding, toilet roll, boiled sweets and tinned fruit and vegetables. 

Once a hamper has been completed, please telephone 0114 2505293 to arrange a time to drop it off to the office – SCCCC, Unit 19 President Buildings, Savile Street East, Sheffield, S4 7UQ.