Welcome back.  The focus this month is on gifts for the elderly.  Suggestions include, mug, spoon, cutlery, sensory item, reading glasses and head scarf.  There has also been a suggestion on the Link to Hope website about wipe clean table clothes, and they’ve previously suggested hot water bottles. 

Reading glasses can be purchased for a £1.00 from Poundland, Bargain Buys, One Below, and Primark. They suggest buying those with a lower magnifying rating potentially +1 to +2.5.

Asda sell a travel mug for £1.00 which would be good for an elderly shoe box.  The handle means it would be easier for someone with Arthritis to hold. George also sell a basic white mug for 60p, and there are a couple of mugs reduced to 75p.  Ikea sell the Fargrik mug for 75p and several other types for £1.00. 

Head scarfs seem to be more difficult to source for bargain prices.  Ebay do sometimes have some just over a £1.00 but be careful of the sizes as some are probably too small to use as a head scarf.  The smaller ones could still be used around the neck. I have looked in charity shops in the past but tend to find they are still quite expensive.  It does depend on your budget and how many shoe boxes you are filling. 

Mens cotton hankies are also useful.  I have purchased some in Poundland before but haven’t seen any recently.  There may be some bargains around after Father’s Day.

Bargain Buys/Poundstretcher have hot water bottles for £1.99 but you need to be sure they will fit in your shoebox.  It is possible to buy smaller hot water bottles but I have only seen them in a local independent store, and some on ebay.

My key bargain this month is bags of Foxes Glacier mints.  Aldi have packs for 49p and the use by date is July 2021 so will be fine for this years boxes. (In my local Aldi they are in with the special buys, not near the other sweets.)  Sweets or chocolates are on the essentials list for both family and elderly shoeboxes, and I usually try to put mints into the elderly shoe boxes. Aldi also have some mint imperials which have a long enough shelf life.

Aldi also have some of their wool reduced if you want to knit hats, scarfs, mittens or knit any knee blankets.  Knitting squares for a knee blanket could be a good introduction to knitting for any children currently at home, especially if the weather isn’t so good.  Knee blankets should be about 1 metre by a 1 metre. They can then be used to help as packing in the outer boxes as they don’t take up too much room and are useful to hand out with the shoe boxes.  A few colleagues have started knitting and crocheting squares for me, which I’ll piece together to make some extra knee blankets.  😊

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