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Thursday, 6 August 2020

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Student encourages primary school children to write to lonely care home residents

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To combat loneliness amongst care home residents, a 16-year-old student has set up Community Senior Letters, an initiative to help over 35 primary schools write letters to elderly residents in their area during the COVID-19 crisis.

The mastermind behind this innovative project is Nina Andersen, a 16-year-old student from London. She has previously set up Community Senior Music, where semi-professional musicians performed concerts at various care homes. Due to COVID-19, she has had to switch from musical entertainment to handwritten letters to keep the elderly connected during these unprecedented times.

Community Senior Letters aims to match primary schools to care homes in the same borough to provide human connection during the lockdown. This allows hope and happiness to be brought to the elderly residents at care homes, and for them to form wonderful friendships. Likewise, students are able to form friendships by unleashing their inner creativity as they send letters and drawings to the care homes.

Speaking of the latest initiative: Nina Andersen, Founder of Community Senior Letters said:

“I believe that letters and drawings have the power to affect empathy and connection between two people from different generations, contexts, and walks of life. Sending and receiving these letters helps to uplift spirits, ease stress and relax the mind. Not only does it provide elderly people with some form of human connection during isolation, but it also helps to alleviate any boredom the pupils may be feeling.”

Juggling this project with her studies, Nina also said:

“I am currently working on this project alongside my schoolwork, and find it challenging at times to manage the workload, but it makes my day when I receive pictures of handwritten letters from primary school children or emails from care homes expressing their gratitude and appreciation for this project.”

Also speaking of the initiative, Lynde House Care Home, a care home signed up to the project said:

“We are loving the letters and they have cheered everyone up. Please keep them coming, they are so appreciated!”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced there is currently no evidence indicating COVID-19 can be spread through post, allowing letters to be received safely by the care homes.

This initiative demonstrates that even a small act of kindness, such as writing and sending a letter, can make a big difference to someone else’s life.

Community Senior Letters would love for more schools and care homes to get involved. To do so please email communityseniorletters@gmail.com.

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