16 year old Putney student gets thousands to write to lonely care home residents
Letters bringing smiles and affection to local elderly care home residents
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 Putney. 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 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 this 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.”
In Putney the following schools have being taking part; Brandlehow Primary School, Granard Primary School and Hotham Primary School and these letters have been sent to residents at; The Pines Nursing Home, 49 Laverstoke Gardens, Lyle House Care Home and St Mary’s Home in Roehampton.
Heather Said, the Manager at The Pines care home in Putney said on behalf of all the Residents and staff: “The letters have been so well received and really appreciated– they are cheerful and personal, and show insight and wisdom too. It helps a good deal when, although we are alright, we are missing so many people. We love young people, after all we are young on the inside, and it is lovely to engage with every single one of you. We are really sorry that we have not written back, we would like to, but it is not always possible. It is obvious how much time and effort has been put into getting the letters, origami and little gifts to us – on the part of the young writers, teachers and parents. Maybe when this is all over all our young correspondents and those that have helped can visit and we can meet you in person? ”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have 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 email@example.com.
May 29, 2020