Local volunteer gets a Big Thank You for working tirelessly to help others

Katie Nicholson, who works for the local NHS, is thanking Maureen Lillywhite, a local community worker, as part of the Big Thank You campaign, for organising the reverse advent calendar for Christmas 2018. The reverse advent calendar helps those families who struggle the most after the Christmas period.

(left to right) Maureen Lillywhite and Katie Nicholson


Maureen Lillywhite, a Local Community Worker for Stainbeck Church, said: “The reverse advent calendar is a simple concept where instead of opening an advent calendar window, you add one food or household item into a box per day from 1 to 24 December. You could add anything into the box, like tinned food, a toy, a packet of biscuits, shampoo, body wash or chocolates.

“The boxes that we had gathered were distributed to families in need after Christmas, which is when families struggle the most. The distribution of the boxes took place at community café at Stainbeck Church in Leeds 7, and will continue to give them throughout January. I really want to help families when they’re faced with difficult times, and this is a great way to help them. Personally, I want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers for the work they do, this wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Katie Nicholson, Primary Care Manager at NHS Leeds Clinical Commission Group, said: “I’d like to say a really big thank you to Maureen who works hard all year round working within communities in Leeds. In particular the work she does with those who struggle both before and after the Christmas period. She works tirelessly to make sure that as many people as possible receive something at Christmas whether this be a Christmas hamper, food and clothes donations, winter warmers for the elderly and toys for children all so that families and elderly who struggle don’t go without. I’ve added my thank you message on the Big Thank You website (www.bigthankyouleeds.co.uk), because she’s my unsung winter hero.

“I volunteered to help Maureen with the reverse advent calendar because it’s a brilliant idea. I asked my work colleagues from the CCG to get involved in this and they were happy to support this. We’re looking at doing this again for this year’s Christmas because we’ve been overwhelmed with the number of boxes we’ve received.

“Some of the work that Maureen does with the support of her team include community lunches, and these are especially important over the winter period which is a time where many people are often socially isolated. With the lunch being provided, it allows time for those vulnerable groups to be brought together in a warm environment, to enjoy a meal together and the opportunity to participate in activities.”

Say thanks today to someone who has been a winter hero to you www.bigthankyouleeds.co.uk


The ‘Big Thank You’ campaign

The campaign is a partnership approach involving the city’s NHS organisations, Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, West Yorkshire Police (Leeds District), British Transport Police West Yorkshire and community and voluntary organisations who are recognising the dedication and hard work that staff do every year to help people through winter.

View the Big Thank You gallery for all messages that have so far been submitted https://bigthankyouleeds.co.uk/big-thank-you-gallery/

Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net