A 16-year-old student has set up an initiative to help over 35 primary schools write letters to elderly residents in their area during the COVID-19 crisis, in an effort to help combat loneliness amongst care home residents.
Nina Andersen, a 16-year-old student from London and the mastermind behind the Community Senior Letters campaign, 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 their area to provide human connection during the lockdown. This is designed to allow hope and happiness to be brought to the elderly residents at care homes, and for them to form new friendships. Likewise, students are able to form friendships by unleashing their inner creativity as they send letters and drawings to the care homes.
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.”
“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.”
Lynde House Care Home, one of the care homes 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 Organization (WHO) has said that there is currently no evidence indicating that COVID-19 can be spread through items in the post. Care homes have been particularly badly affected by the Coronavirus crisis, and so small acts of kindness can be more important than ever and make a big difference to the lives of residents during these difficult times.