Kind Lilly-Anne’s egg-cellent Easter idea

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A KIND-hearted teenager found an egg-cellent way to help make Easter extra special this year for care home residents in Wrexham.

Miss Teen Wrexham, Lilly-Anne Gibson, spearheaded a goodwill drive to provide Easter eggs for the residents of the Pendine Park care organisation she has been writing to throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

She was overwhelmed by the response from her school community at Ysgol y Grango, Rhos, after about 40 eggs were gifted by pupils, staff and parents in less than 24 hours before the end of term.

Lilly-Anne, 16, paid a visit to Pendine Park’s Summerhill Road site to hand over the gifts..

The visit also provided her with a moving first face-to-face meeting with some of the residents she has been in regular correspondence with.

Lilly-Anne, who took a break from studying for her GCSE qualifications to hand over the eggs, was delighted by the willingness people showed to help make it a particularly happy Easter at Pendine Park.

“We put a message out on social media to see if anybody would like to contribute. I was amazed the next day to see how many eggs had been brought in,” said Lilly-Anne, of Ponciau.

“It was amazing to see just how many people wanted to contribute and provide Easter eggs for the residents of Pendine Park.

“The response in such a short timeframe was incredible. I’m really grateful that so many eggs were donated, which I’ve now been able to hand over.

“I have just wanted to put a smile on the faces of the residents this Easter.”

Lilly-Anne’s goodwill gesture followed her providing further welcome relief at Pendine Park during a lengthy lockdown process at the homes.

She approached the organisation about whether she could write letters to residents, both as part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and to help build a rapport with them amid the pandemic.

Like pen pals of days gone by, Lilly-Anne has regularly corresponded with a group of residents ever since – with both parties waxing lyrical about their lives and interests.

But stringent lockdown restrictions meant she had been unable to meet any of them until she brought in the Easter eggs.

“It has been so nice to finally put faces to some of the names,” said Lilly-Anne, who hopes to compete for the Miss Teen Great Britain crown later this year.

“When you start writing to these people you don’t know them, but over time they become like friends.

“Lockdown has made it difficult for them to see their families, so I hope it helps them a bit that we can write to each other.

“If it was physically possible then I would love to write to every single Pendine Park resident, to show them I am thinking of them all.

“It has been lovely to chat to a couple of the residents and I look forward to writing to them again soon.

“They are such nice people and have lots of interesting stories to share.”

One of the residents who got to chat with Lilly-Anne was Mark Cartwright, after they had regularly exchanged letters in the past year.

Mark was able to talk to her while he attended an art class session, with Lilly-Anne standing outside the building due to social distancing restrictions.

Although he will not be able to eat the Easter eggs due to being lactose intolerant, Pen y Bryn resident Mark, 58, was still delighted by the kind gesture.

“It is very nice for Lilly-Anne to bring all these Easter eggs here today,” said Mark, who has been a Pendine Park resident for about 13 years.

“It’s just a shame I can’t have any of them myself, but I still appreciate what Lilly-Anne has done.

“Lilly-Anne has been writing to us. It is really nice to finally get the chance to meet her and chat with her.”

The visit was arranged by Pendine Park’s artist in residence Sarah Edwards.

“We are very grateful for the Easter gifts that Lilly-Anne has brought here,” said Sarah.

“She has been writing to our residents and has wanted to come in and bring the Easter eggs. We are glad that this has been possible.

“It is nice that she has had the opportunity to meet with some of the residents that she has been writing to. They have enjoyed talking to her.”