Caring Beth Allison is helping to combat loneliness among the elderly this Christmas by making shoeboxes filled with gifts.
Beth, 19, hopes to make up at least 180 boxes, which she will give to residents in three care homes in town.
She has been moved by stories of the growing problem of loneliness for older people.
Beth, of the Fens, Hartlepool, said: “I have been seeing lots of stuff on Facebook and television. I want to set up a group of volunteers to visit homes and thought of this as the first step.
“I think care homes can be the loneliest of places sometimes and especially around Christmas time.”
She approached Charlotte Grange, Queen’s Meadow and Sheraton Court homes in town and they have welcomed the gesture.
“I’m hoping to get enough shoeboxes for all of the residents, roughly 180,” she added.
“If I get any more, I will then approach other care homes.”
And she is appealing to the public for donations to help her hit her target.
She has made a list of suitable items to go in the boxes.
It comprises soap, shower gel, bubble bath, moisturiser, sweets, chocolate, socks, hankies, scarf, hats, gloves, slippers, smellies, ornaments/trinkets and old people-friendly jewellery.
Shoe Zone, in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, gave 50 empty shoeboxes to Beth, who is due to study mental health nursing at Teesside University next month.
Donations can be left at St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School, Stratford Road, Hartlepool. For more information email Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org