And so here we are in Autumn, and things feel as uncertain as ever. But, there’s one thing we’re all certain we still can and want to do, and that is let our friends and family know we are thinking of them. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, a new baby or any other life event, Patchwork can help to connect people, with thoughtful isolation gifts that are really wanted, appreciated, and easy to organise digitally and from afar.
Gifts that say we’re thinking of you
Many of our elderly or vulnerable relatives are now spending a lot more time at home, alone. Including – sadly – those special occasions like birthdays, and now possibly Christmas too. It’s heartbreaking that we can’t be there in person with the ones we love to give them a proper hug or sit inside with them and have a cup of tea! Doorstep calls and sitting in the garden are lovely in the summer but as winter approaches, won’t be as easy to do.
Patchwork founder Liv’s Nan – Vera – turned an incredible 93 this month, and for the first time, she wasn’t able to visit one of her many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for tea, cake and flowers. So to let her know they were thinking of her, the family clubbed together, and used Patchwork to organise and fund a beautiful and thoughtful group gift. A birthday garden patchwork allowed everyone to chip in towards some flowers for her back and front garden, some compost and manure (and the gardener to do the planning and planting!) So that although she might not be able to get outside at all right now, she can still have beautiful, colourful views from her windows.
A beautiful garden, piece by piece
Liv’s sister Rosie set up the page and shared it with the family near and far so that everyone could contribute to Vera’s “Room with a view”. One of the best things about a Patchwork group gift page (other than it being gorgeous to look at and a breeze to use) is that you can set your own prices so that everyone can chip in what they can afford. Whether it’s £5 towards some geraniums, £15 for an hours gardening time or £70 for two climbing roses. You can even set patches without a monetary contribution, so people can gift their time and skill instead. In this case, Rosie asked if anyone in the family could help out by being the gardener’s assistant (socially distanced and with their own tools of course!)
A gift that everyone can (eventually!) enjoy
So in the months to come, Vera will be looking out at newly planted roses, clematis, geraniums, wallflowers and know that it all happened because her family are thinking of her and miss her and want to show her how much they love her! And hopefully by Springtime the daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be back in the flower-filled garden for tea and biscuits and a chat with Vera.
Plants and flowers make us happier
Even if they don’t have a garden, everyone has a window to look out of, so this group gift idea can easily be adapted to include hanging baskets, window boxes, small potted trees, a bird feeder to hang up and maybe a small watering can to keep them healthy and green! It makes sense as we are all spending more time at home, to make our surroundings as nice to look at as possible. Adding colour and life to our outside space with flowers and plants is also scientifically proven to make us feel happy. And so for people living alone, this is an isolation gift that really can make a difference to their mental wellbeing at this stressful and often confusing time.
The perfect group gift for someone in isolation
We can’t think of a more perfect gift for an elderly or isolated person at this time, than something beautiful to look out at from their window. Whether they live in a small flat, or have a big garden, there’s always a window to sit by, and so this gift can always make the view better. If you’ve been inspired to set up a “Room with a View” patchwork or garden patchwork see our readymades and have a play. It’s so easy to set up a page, make it personal and then share with family and friends. Any questions? We’d love to help on LiveChat, via firstname.lastname@example.org or over the phone on 07547 439 805.