Lockdown Christmas cards created by care home resident

By Aleisha Scott

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Image source, Mike Handford
Image caption,
Mr Handford's son said David (pictured) had been given 'a real boost' by the interest in the cards

A 93-year-old care home resident has spent lockdown creating hand-drawn Christmas cards to raise money for charity.

Former GP David Handford has been unable to see his family for most of this year due to the coronavirus.

He has designed, drawn and painted the cards from Glebe House care home in South Gloucestershire.

So far he has sold 600 cards in three designs, raising £350 for the Royal British Legion and the Willow Trust.

He first turned his hand to creating birthday cards for his fellow care home residents to send to their family and friends as they have been unable to visit shops.

His family then arranged for his Christmas cards to be professionally printed and have been helping to sell them to support good causes.

Image source, David Handford
Image caption,
One of the charity card designs Mr Handford created

One of the designs features Father Christmas telling his reindeer off for not wearing his face mask, while another sees Mary, Joseph and a donkey at the door of the care home with a care worker in PPE opening the door.

Mr Handford said: "I've still got the use of my fingers so I have been able to paint but I couldn't stand at an easel any more so these cards are perfect for me to sit at a table.

"It has given me a task so that I am always busy, I do an hour or two a day drawing or painting and that gives me a feeling of satisfaction - that I have done something worthwhile.

Image source, David Handford
Image caption,
Mr Handford had been frustrated by not getting out to do his normal sketching sessions

"It has been a handicap not being able to see family or go out for a drive to go to places to do some sketching.

"But I have been able to see my family on a video call once a week and we have a nice group here at the care home, we all get along."

Image source, David Handford
Image caption,
He had not painted for a while until this year when son Mike encouraged him to re-start

Since retiring as a doctor in 1992 Mr Handford, who also served in the Royal Medical Corps as part of his national service, attended art school evening classes.

His son Mike Handford, from Thornbury, said: "After Mum died a couple of years ago, Dad stopped painting but I have encouraged him to paint this year and he has mastered those skills again and actually improved.

"It has given him a real focus and determination that has helped him perk up and the huge interest there has been in the cards has given him a real boost."