3rd Aug, 2021

Coventry schoolchildren's lockdown letters to cheer up care home residents

CHILDREN from Richard Lee Primary School in Coventry have been writing letters to care home residents to cheer them up during lockdown and help make them feel less isolated.

With help from NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, the children were able to pass their letters on to residents of Eden House care home and receive replies.

Lauren Anderson, the school’s year two lead, was inspired by the Times Educational Supplement’s ‘Classrooms to Care Homes’ scheme which focuses on easing loneliness of the elderly who have less access to families and the wider world through the pandemic.

She said: “The children were incredibly excited to share their thoughts with a ‘real person’ and were delighted when they received an abundance of replies the next day.

“It was incredible to hear their life stories and experiences; growing up during the Second World War, being a child in Coventry and their own school memories.”

The children were particularly amazed by one of the residents who is 104 and asked her questions about what life was like and what it was like to get a birthday card from The Queen.

Another resident told pupils about birds they watched.

Staff at the home helped residents with their replies and the school now hopes to continue the link-up.

Eden House manager Laura Hambridge said the residents were thrilled to receive the letters.

“I have to admit we did shed some tears reading the heartfelt letters and replies.”

“Those that were unable to write replies were supported by staff to ensure they could be part of the beautiful project.

“Staff wrote down the replies word for word to ensure the letter truly come from the resident.

“Many of our residents said they would love to receive more letters, reply to them and build up new friendships with the children.

“A few have also said that maybe one day when this pandemic is over we could come and share some of our stories with them in person.”

Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Coun Kevin Maton, added: “It’s lovely to see pupils from Richard Lee taking the initiative to think of others in the community and do something positive to help.

“I’m sure the school children loved hearing back from the Eden House residents as much as the residents loved receiving the letters and pictures from the children.”

Coun Mal Mutton, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Staff in our care homes often do extra to put themselves out for the benefit of the residents as this story shows.

“Eden House staff have really shown consideration to the elderly residents by helping them take part when they’ve needed help and to the schoolchildren by helping them receive such lovely replies.

“Well done and a big thank you to everyone involved. I hope that this story will inspire other schools and care homes to take part in this wonderful initiative.”

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