Our Warm in Winter gift bags help heat the person when they are struggling to heat their home. For some, our gift bags are a life saver, reaching those who are having to make the unimaginable choice between heating their home or buying food.

There are serious health risks for an older person who is cold in their home. It is much harder to regulate and maintain body temperature and being cold can lead to health risks such as raised blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and falls. There is also the negative impact that being cold can have on a person’s mental wellbeing including loneliness, depression and anxiety.  Our gift bags act as an intervention that can help reduce the risks that older people face when they are cold.

I felt better and more relaxed about keeping warm this winter.

Our Warm in Winter gift bags contain essential, practical, keep warm items including; a fleece blanket, thermal hat, gloves and socks, a mug, hot drinks, soup and porridge. They also contain our comprehensive Purple Pages information pack full of literature signposting to relevant support, services and activities, helping to break the cycle that loneliness and isolation can bring.  

“Receiving this gift brought a tear to my eye. I often feel forgotten but this showed someone is thinking of me.

In addition to the practical items, we also include a hand written message from the person who packed the gift bag. This ‘Message of Kindness’ provides a personal connection to the recipient and we receive many wonderful comments at the impact this has on those who are lonely.

All gift bags are distributed free of charge to people aged over 55 across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. To nominate yourself or someone you know for a Warm in Winter gift bag please click here

If you are an organisation or community group working with older people and would like to distribute our Warm in Winter gift bags to your service users, please contact [email protected] 

Recipients of Warm in Winter gift bags:

  • Are warmer in their homes with the associated reduced risk of cold-related illness or seasonal death.
  • Feel less lonely and isolated.
  • Have increased feelings of wellbeing.
  • Are better connected to their community

Every gift bag contains a feedback card which helps us to understand the impact that our work has on those we are trying to reach.

Comments we have received from gift bag recipients include:

‘We have only allowed ourselves heating for one hour in the morning.'

‘I stay in bed to keep warm.’

I have sat freezing or gone to bed early because I can’t afford to heat my home.’

‘I’m struggling.  This will kill us by the end of the winter.’

In answer to the question ‘How did this gift make you feel?’

I was thrilled and comforted by all the warm and good things in one small bag. It was magic.’

‘Made me feel very happy and not so alone.’

‘I was delighted with my bag, it made me feel really special and most importantly loved.’

‘An unexpected kind gesture that has brought me a moment of great happiness.’

‘Very humble at such generosity and kindness. Such lovely practical gifts - it felt like Christmas had come early.’

The hat and throw will help me stay warm in evening.’

‘The blanket will save me putting the heating on as much.’

I want you to know that your thoughtfulness is a beacon of light at this troubled time.