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The Orange Genie Director Who Started a New Local Tradition

During lockdown in 2020, Orange Gene’s Director of Accounting Services started an event to keep Halloween and Christmas alive for kids on her estate – and it’s still going!

The year 2020 was a hard one for many parts of the UK, and the Elm Farm Estate in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire was no exception. Orange Genie’s Director of Accounting Services, Dannielle Stapleton created an event to provide some fun and respite for local kids, and it’s become a tradition, repeated every year since.  

It started in the runup to Halloween in 2020, when the Covid 19 pandemic made traditional trick or treating impossible. Faced with the prospect of watching her own children and those of her friends and neighbours missing out on yet another important childhood moment, Dannielle decided to do something about it. Organising with other residents on Facebook, she arranged a trail of decorated homes and gardens that kids could follow round the estate, with sweets and other seasonal goodies left in bowls outside – so they didn’t need to knock on the door. The event was a huge success.

When it became clear that Christmas would also be disrupted, Dannielle adapted the idea and arranged a Christmas lights trail, themed around the 12 days of Christmas. Participants each decorated their homes and gardens to represent a different line of the song. Children had to follow the trail on their maps to find all twelve decorated homes.

Both events were such a success that they were repeated by popular demand in 2021, even though restrictions had been lifted, and this legacy continues in 2022. This time, the Christmas theme is “Elves of Elm Farm”, and volunteers will each place a red elf in their window or their garden. Children will use their map to follow the trail and find all the elves – including the rebellious green elf who has stolen Santa’s money!

As with previous years, the event has been arranged on Facebook, and other events have been arranged around it in the Facebook group, bringing the whole community together.

Orange Genie’s Chief Commercial Officer Dan Moss said “Lockdown underlined how important our communities are, and it’s no surprise that Dannielle has found a creative solution to support hers, or that it’s still going two years later. That’s the way we do things at Orange Genie.”    

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