A103-YEAR-OLD former dental nurse from York is among the first in the region to receive a festive hamper from two National Lottery winners.

Elaine and Rob Leason who scooped a £1.4 million share as part of the Tesco Driffield Lotto jackpot-winning syndicate in July 2005, dropped in on Eva Sessions at her home in York city centre as part of a bid to bringing some early Christmas cheer to those struggling with isolation and loneliness.

Eva set up a dental clinic offering free treatment to the most vulnerable members of her community during the Second World War. It was during this time that she met her future husband, who was sent to Sweden as part of the Friends Ambulance Unit to provide medical support during the “Winter War” between Russia and Finland. When the war ended, she came to England to marry and has lived here ever since. However, after the death of her second husband, Eva has been living alone.

She said: “York Neighbours has been a real lifeline for me. Without their support and the regular calls, I would be so lonely.

“I just could not believe it when Santa and his Elf arrived on my road today – Christmas has now well and truly started. And they didn’t just come to say hello, they brought me a huge hamper full of so many goodies. I absolutely can’t wait to open it and tuck in – Christmas really will be special for me this year thanks to this kind donation from these National Lottery winners.”

Elaine said: “The smile on Eva’s face when we handed the hamper over is something which we will never forget.

“We love to give back and having won The National Lottery this has bought us the time to do lots of good for charity and wonderful things like this.

“Christmas can be a very difficult time for lots of people. We are delighted to be supporting York Neighbours this year, making hampers and bringing early festive joy to those who may not have a Christmas filled with lots of cheer this year.”

The couple have always loved supporting charities and often dress-up as Santa and Santa’s Chief Elf to spread some Christmas cheer.

Complete with a vintage white car, doubling up as Santa’s sleigh for the occasion, Rob and Elaine, who are from Driffield, made 10 festive hampers to be delivered to the isolated and lonely in York and the surrounding areas.

All of the recipients are supported by York Neighbours, a National Lottery-funded charity, which aids more than 475 vulnerable people across the city, enabling independence and reducing social isolation and loneliness.

York Neighbours has received £135,000 of National Lottery funding over the last three years, which has been used to expand its services, providing practical help and support to people over the age of 65.

Roni Robbins, coordinator at York Neighbours, said: “We cannot thank them enough for their generosity. It is wonderful to know that many of our beneficiaries will have a more joyful Christmas this year thanks to these kind donations.”

Thanks to National Lottery players, over £1.2 billion is being used by charities and organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.