Community rallies to send Christmas stars to St Albans care homes

Mariam, nine, decorates her Christmas star for a St Albans care home resident.

Mariam, nine, decorates her Christmas star for a St Albans care home resident. - Credit: Maggie Dodd

Handcrafted 'Stars of Love' have been delivered to hundreds of care home residents across St Albans as a reminder that they are in people's thoughts and prayers this Christmas.

The initiative was devised by Maggie Todd, who contacted churches and community groups across the district to see if they would like to create Christmas stars for local care homes.

Maggie is St Albans’ Anna Chaplain, one of 170 volunteers across the country whose role is to support older people in the community in sheltered housing and in care homes.

She explained: "We usually provide pastoral care, organise Christian worship services and help older people connect with support services locally, and social groups like day care groups and lunch clubs.

"With a mum who is suffering from dementia, I know it’s been a tough couple of years for both residents, carers and their families.

"Some of my Anna Chaplain colleagues in Cumbria had created knitted and felt stars to give to their local care homes so I hoped we might mobilise the good folk of St Albans and see if we could do the same. I also sourced some beechwood stars for children and crafters to decorate or paint. 

"I was amazed by the wonderful response from both church communities and St Albans residents, young and old, who wanted to create a star and send some love.

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"Twelve churches of different denominations got in touch to help, Rainbows and Brownies across the city took part, Sandringham School KS3 Art Club, Sandridge Primary School, knit and knitter groups, local crafts people, so many people came forward to help me hit my target of 587 handmade stars.

"Each of the beautiful stars - knitted, sewn, painted and decorated with care - were wrapped and given to every care home resident across the city, as a token of love from us, and a reminder that they are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas.

"St Albans once again proves it’s not only a creative city to live in, but a loving and caring community who like to show they care this Christmastime."