An Angus childminder who launched her new business during the pandemic has helped bring festive cheer to care homes residents on both sides of the Tay.
Stephanie Thomson from Kirriemuir has also found time to deliver a big thank you to neonatal intensive care staff who cared for her baby daughter after the success of a virtual Angus Christmas market the busy mum found time to set up.
She took the plunge into self-employment with Stephanie’s Little Stars in August after several years in local authority early education.
But as the festive season loomed, Stephanie realised the chances of taking her toddlers to visit local care homes would be a remote possibility.
Childminders join forces for care home gift box scheme
She said: “Working with two other childminders, Christine Brown of Teenie Tots and Kathryn Semple who runs Little Cherubs, we came up with the idea of making up gift boxes for residents in local care homes.
“We have a lot of children who go in an visit the care homes and both they and the residents thrive on it so it was going to be such a shame that would not happen.
“Someone suggested we should make cards and the idea just spiralled from there.
“We worked closely with our families to create these boxes and were pleased to reach 50 boxes.”
Those have now been distributed to grateful residents at Storyville in Kirriemuir and Newport’s Riverview Lodge care home.
At the same time, the childminders also received donations for other youngsters which have gone to the Angus Toy Appeal.
Online fair raises £900 for Ninewells
Stephanie added: “I have also been working with local businesses who will have felt the direct hit of Covid-19 to create an online Christmas market.
“I wanted to do something during the summer for the neonatal ward at Ninewells, who looked after our daughter, Ruby, when she was born a year ago.
“Because of the pandemic situation that didn’t happen, but I came up with the idea of an online Angus and Perthshire virtual fair on Facebook.
“I ended up with over 50 businesses involved and around 1,200 following customers.
“Through that we did a raffle with 18 prizes, the support for which was incredible.
“I have managed to raise £900 for NICU at Ninewells, who so greatly deserve it after the care they her when she was born on December 18 last year,” said Stephanie.