Bringing communities together with Winter Wishes

Posted on: Monday, November 27, 2023

This winter families and friends from across the district will be joining in with the festive celebrations and spending valuable time with their loved ones. For some however, the winter months can feel lonely and to support those who need it most this winter, Newark and Sherwood District Council is launching its Winter Wishes campaign where residents can send warm messages of well wishes anonymously to isolated members of our community.

Winter Wishes cards are being provided to local schools and can be found in local independent shops in Edwinstowe, Southwell, Ollerton and Newark ready for residents to pick up for free. People are encouraged to get crafty and write or draw something that could make someone’s day and then post their card in dedicated post boxes across the district.

These dedicated post boxes are painted green and can be found in Southwell Library, Ollerton Library, Newark Buttermarket and Edwinstowe Crafts Centre.

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, explains: “We know from our work within our communities that sadly there are some people who don’t have family or friends to join in winter festivities with.  While we do all we can to support all our communities, we know that there are others across the district who want to do more and Winter Wishes is a simple way they can do just that.  We wanted to do something that can bring a smile to someone who needs it most.

“Loneliness has a huge effect on mental and physical wellbeing and it is important that we connect our isolated residents with others in our communities who want to reach out. A positive message can go a long way and it all helps with making us feel more connected to our communities. 

“Our independent stores have been great supporters of the campaign so please visit them to pick up the cards. They also need our support this festive season and you can help in supporting your local community by shopping locally and spending time in our high streets too.”

Once the cards have been posted, they’ll be reviewed by the District Council and sent to  community groups who tackle loneliness.  Some will also be distributed to those living in some of the District Council’s Housing with Care residential schemes.

Residents have until Monday 18 December to post their cards in the dedicated post boxes.

There’s free car parking on weekends in Newark from Sunday 26 November until Sunday 31 December so it’ll be even easier to pop into your local high street store top pick up a card.

Anthony Foxwell, Owner of LetsXcape Games Café in Newark, said: "We're excited to be part of the Winter Wishes campaign and it's a reminder that our community is more than just patrons, it's a family. Just like standing by the entrance to welcome guests with a smile and a 'hello,' Winter Wishes is about creating warmth, connection, and a sense of celebration. We're not just a cafe; we're a place where friendships are forged and memories are made. Join us in spreading joy and making this winter a season to remember."

Jayne Clarke, Manager of Flower Room in Edwinstowe, said: “This is a great campaign and we can’t wait to get involved. We are hoping that this year residents choose to support their community and shop locally by visiting some of our amazing independent shops in our towns and villages.”

Community group The Shed in Collingham played a key part in the campaign creating the dedicated green post boxes placed in a number of towns. They run a community workshop in the village to combat loneliness by providing residents a space to learn woodwork skills and to speak to others.  They offer sessions including staining glass, wood turning and carving, craft work, carpentry and jewellery making.

Discover more about the campaign by going to the Winter Wishes page.