Northampton subscription hamper service offers 'a sense of belonging' with gifts for older people

Founded by a former caregiver the service hopes to bring a bit of joy back to 'older generations'

By Max Pearson
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 9:15 am
Recipients can get anything from sweet treats to puzzles and brain twisters
Recipients can get anything from sweet treats to puzzles and brain twisters

A Northampton-based subscription service has been sending gift packs to 'older generations' since its founding in June 2021, claiming to have earned customers as far as the United States.

A Gran Smile (AGS) was founded during the Covid-19 pandemic with the stated aim of bringing something new to 'older generations' who have taken much of the brunt of lockdowns.

Ndah Mbawa, who founded AGS, said that she has long championed care for 'older generations' and has often taken her daughters to care homes. This to volunteer at the homes and to give the girls some perspective.

Ndah said: "When I first came to the UK, about 23 years ago, one of my first jobs was in the care sector. I realised that I had an affinity for the older generations. My career has since branched away from that, but the feeling remains.

"My two daughters have a subscription box service for books and in helping them to run that I got the idea to start one of my own for the care sector.

"I realised that people over the last two years must have been feeling lonely, especially in care homes where none of their relatives could visit. The sector has never had something like it, to my knowledge.

"So I envisioned a service that lets people send a monthly pack to their loved one, with a range of goodies for them to enjoy and not feel so alone.

"We also deliver to caregivers themselves, whose company might like to reward them for achieving an 'outstanding' mark from the CQC or just to say thank you for all the essential work they do."

The service acts like many other monthly gift box subscriptions, delivering a different set of goodies each time.

These can include craft or art items like colouring books, games, puzzles, books, healthy snacks and treats, every day essentials and more.

While prices for the service vary, a 12 month subscription currently costs £27.

Ndah added: "From one month to the next, we try to include little packs of things that will keep the older generations engaged, like brain teasers, that can help keep their brain function going.

"By receiving these gifts, it's making people feel remembered and cared for at a time when many of the older generations are feeling disconnected from society. So it's about keeping them feeling valued and loved.

"I'd want people to think of us as a service that's providing help in a time we feel so helpless.

"Just for them to experience a different event and have something new happen in their daily existence, along with a sense of belonging, that's what we're aiming for."

Anyone who is interested in the service can find out more on their website.