Smile Box – Winter Wellbeing

Smile Box – Winter Wellbeing

To provide information on winter wellbeing to vulnerable residents.

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.


Cheetham and Crumpsall neighbourhood

Project Team

Charlee Fitzgerald – buzz

Simon Kitchin – buzz

Adiba Sultan – MLCO

Lesmond Taylor & volunteers – Rainbow Centre


The aim of this project was to expand on the work done by The Rainbow Centre already with their Smile Boxes, by offering more of these to residents. This gave an opportunity to connect with older residents and share some important health information.


Anna (via text) – “Thank you for the packages and information leaflets delivered to our door this evening. It is much appreciated”


This project was a nice idea as it came from an existing successful project by Lesmond and he wanted to expand on this.

There was very little feedback received from the recipients which may be due to the format of the community questionnaire. Free post envelopes weren’t provided as this would be a lot to go out and not be used. Charlee did provide her mobile number for people to contact her and one person did.

The idea of Smile Boxes was then picked up by a colleague (Bernie), as one of her local organisations wanted to use the idea for their winter wellbeing scheme.

If repeated, it would be useful to consider better communication methods to get feedback from the residents.

Overall, it wasn’t the best for feedback but it gave an opportunity for health teams to get information out to people who may not be online, also they received a reusable mask to help with staying safe during COVID-19.

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.


Charlee Fitzgerald - Neighbourhood Health Worker

T: 07771 805 278

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