Staff and residents at Askham, a specialist Cambridgeshire rehabilitation and care group, are well and truly in the Christmas spirit with toy donations, fundraising and festive activities taking place throughout December.

Kind-hearted residents at Askham Village Community, a family-run group of specialist nursing and rehab centres on the outskirts of Doddington, have been busy collecting a sack full of toys, games and teddy donations for the Cambridgeshire Police Christmas Appeal, to ensure there are no children from the community going without a gift from Santa this year.

In addition, residents have spent time knitting mittens and blankets for children in Fenland and the surrounding areas as part of the donation appeal, ensuring they stay warm this winter. Members of the public can visit Askham’s café where there is a communal set of needles for anyone who wants to contribute to this shared effort

As well as helping vulnerable children in the county, staff and residents have also been gearing up for an action-packed week of activities at the home, starting with its popular Christmas Fayre this Friday (7th December), where there will be a prize tombola and bric-a-brac stall, prize raffles and, of course, a chance to meet and greet Santa.

Askham will also be hosting a special choir service on Wednesday, 18th December, where carols will be performed by the local guides group, and a Christmas party for residents on Monday, 23rd December. The joyous season will also see residents being taken on personal shopping trips to Peterborough and other nearby towns and cities in the build-up to the big day.

A family-run business for over 30 years, Askham Village Community provides specialist nursing and care for the very young to the elderly, offering day visits, respite or long-term care, goal-focused rehabilitation, and continuing reablement support.

Joanne Monaghan, Head of Care and Nursing Services at Askham, said: “Christmas has started early at the home and staff and residents alike are so excited with the events we have planned throughout the month. They’ve been working hard to ensure friends and family will enjoy our fayre, choir and party, not to mention the donations they’ve collected for the Cambridgeshire police appeal; I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“This time of year brings about a togetherness and a real community feel, which is part of our ethos at Askham, so it’s amazing to see everyone getting involved in the festivities – even to the point of staff and residents making their own Christmas decorations in readiness for our ‘best dressed home’ competition later this month.”

As well as the busy schedule of events, the group is also fundraising for an Omi projector for its residents. The interactive projector is dementia-friendly and designed to stimulate, relax and encourage memory recall through scenes and sounds from nature including virtual water effects and therapeutic colouring; social games promoting physical dexterity, and joint effort and nostalgic themes and music.

So far, the team have raised £1,417 towards the projector through various activities and games including raffles, bingo and ‘name the stuffed toy’ challenges and Askham will match every penny raised.

To see how the team are getting on in their fundraising efforts, a fundraising page has been set up at