Socially isolated older people supported by the Ripon and Rural Wellbeing Service are set to receive birthday greetings from the residents of Burton Leonard.

The ‘Birthday Wishes’ scheme invites Burton Leonard residents to donate a birthday card and return it to the village store, together with a small donation. People can bring their own card or buy one from the large selection at Burton Leonard Village Store. The charity will then send it on to one of their elderly clients on their special day.

The scheme was thought up by Ripon and Rural Wellbeing Service Support Worker, Susan Wells, who lives in the village. Susan said: “We are fortunate in Burton Leonard to have a real sense of community. The local over 65s we support unfortunately do not always have such a good network of support living locally and many experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Something as simple as sending a birthday card can make all the difference to people living alone.”

The scheme is being supported by Burton Leonard Village Store, where cards can be returned for the shop to send on to the charity. Lisa Bradbury, Store Owner said: “We are delighted to be backing the ‘Birthday Wishes’ campaign. It’s a great way of showing people who may rarely leave their homes that local people are thinking about them on their birthday.”

The Ripon and Rural Wellbeing Service is part of the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) and assists over 65s with home visits at times when they may need extra support, such as during ill health or after bereavement. The service is supported by a team of volunteer befrienders who provide regular visits in the home, helping to improve clients’ feelings of wellbeing. The service also runs three lunch clubs in Grantley, Kirkby Malzeard and Masham.

Anyone wishing to support the ‘Birthday Wishes’ campaign or to find out more about the services is urged to get in touch with Julie Proudler, Service Co-ordinator on 01765 645902 or or