Tree-mendous Christmas cheer in Maida Hill

Resident gets into the festive spirit and buys decorated tree for his house-bound neighbour

A MAIDA Hill man has shown that Christmas cheer is alive and well with a true example of festive neighbourly spirit.

After not having a Christmas tree for the past 10 years, housebound 84-year-old Alma Keighley now has a festive fir in her front garden, thanks to a generous neighbour.

Liam Purcell, of Burlington Close, bought the tree last week and, after a Christmas makeover courtesy of Maida Hill Flowers, delivered it as a present to his neighbour.

Adorned with multi-coloured baubles, a big yellow ribbon and a star on top, the tree now has pride of place in Ms Keighley’s garden for her to look out on from her front room.

Mr Purcell, 70, who lives above Ms Keighley and tends for her front garden, said: “I was walking through the market and saw Gill Clarke who runs Maida Hill Flowers.

“She has done favours for me in the past like making wreaths for me and she has a lovely sense of colour so I decided to buy one of her Christmas trees, get her to do it up and give it to a local pensioner.

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“My neighbour is elderly and never leaves her house so I thought it would be nice to give it to her.”

Having lived in one of the flats above Ms Keighley for the past 28 years, Mr Purcell says it is important to let people like her know there are others who care.

“I haven’t really done anything like this before but sometimes I’ll do something like finish a book and leave it on the bus for someone else to have – it adds a bit of spice to life,” he said.

“We have a lot of old people around here and the idea that they are stuck indoors – I don’t know how they don’t go mad.

“This tree signifies that people are thinking of them.”

Ann Brennan has cared for Ms Keighley for the past eight years. She said: “Liam approached me and asked if Alma would like a tree and I said definitely.

“She says she loves it outside. I thought it was a marvellous thing to do for Christmas.”

Ms Clarke, who runs her stall at Maida Hill Market, decorated the tree with baubles donated to her by another generous member of the public. She said: “I thought it was such a lovely idea. It’s nice to let people know that there are good people like this in the community.

“There are a lot of people in this world who care.”