S4B Christmas in a Box

S4B Christmas in a Box

An alternative Christmas celebration for residents during COVID-19.

Benefits of wellbeing packs

Staying connected has a strong positive impact on physical and mental health and personal resilience. Social distancing restrictions have made staying connected difficult, particularly for those who do have the technology to connect virtually. buzz has found innovative ways to address this. Distributing wellbeing bags, kits and packs helps people who may not be able to stay connected through technology feel connected with their community. The bags remind people that social support is available and gives them a sense of belonging, both of which have been shown to improve wellbeing and resilience. Receiving functional social support i.e. the bags, has also been shown to have emotional value and be interpreted as emotional support.



Project team

Neighbourhood Health Worker (Nico Dhillon)

S4B / Elizabeth Yarwood Court (Sharon Thomas and Donna Shaw)


To reach vulnerable and older residents in EYC on Christmas Day to reduce social isolation.

To provide a hot meal, gifts and local information to residents who are unable to meet in person due to COVID restrictions.


" I enjoyed my Christmas dinner. I felt so full, I had to save some till boxing day."

"My Christmas meal was very very lovely it was given with lots of love and care to make us all happy. Thank you very very much."

"Thank you to all who had an input into making our Christmas meal so wonderful, Donna you have out shun yourself, couldn’t have had a tastier dinner, Thank you so much."


This project was a great success. The quotes from recipients shows what an impact receiving these boxes had during a time of unknown and isolation for many.

The main success was the feedback from residents, knowing that they are being thought of and seeing another person (distanced) on Christmas Day.

The engagement tools used were MS Teams and exploration through emails and phone calls with Donna. Together we were able to plan for how recipients would be decided, what the contents would be. Buzz provided funding towards contents as well as dropping off physical information for the boxes so residents had local information to hand during winter.

The legacy is the memories for residents and the beautiful feedback shared. This was a great example of adapting to a situation out of our control. At a time when residents would have normally met in person, rather than cancel Donna made sure the residents still received a little bit of cheer!

Strategic links to local/national policies



Social inclusion

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Enabling resilient communities

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Addressing health inequalities

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Research/evidence base

Ambition for Ageing. (2020). Developing social contact models in a time of social distancing: A Response to COVID-19

Centre for Ageing Better. (2020). Gilli's voice - Moments of Joy

Harandi, T. F., Taghinasab, M. M., & Nayeri, T. D. (2017). The correlation of social support with mental health: A meta-analysis. Electronic physician, 9(9), 5212–5222.

Ministry of Social Development (2018) - The measurement of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing

Seifert, A., Cotton, S. R., Xie, B. (2020). A Double Burden of Exclusion? Digital and Social Exclusion of Older Adults in Times of COVID-19, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbaa098.

Semmer, N.K., Elfering, A., Jacobshagen, N., Perrot, T., Beehr, T.A. and Boos, N., 2008. The emotional meaning of instrumental social support. International journal of stress management, 15(3), p.235.


Nico Dhillon - Neighbourhood Health Worker


T. 07553 708 029

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