The Rainbow Letter Project: Intergenerational Penpals
When Chloe returned from university to live with family during lockdown she decided she would do something to help those living alone. Cue: The Rainbow Letter Project, a new initiative helping primary school students stay in touch with residents in one of our retirement communities in Bristol.
Chloe, a student at Birmingham University, started the project when returning to Bristol and approached children from St John’s Primary School, together with local teenagers and fellow students.
The young people wrote a series of letters and some drew pictures as well. The letters told residents a little about what the children have been doing during the lockdown period, as well as information about their families, pets and hobbies. Chloe then collated all the letters and boxed them up for distribution. There were over 100 letters and pictures in total.
Volunteer Coordinator Jane then picked up the letters and delivered them to our Cote Lane retirement village. Once the letters had arrived on site, colleagues delivered them to residents. Some enjoyed the letters so much, they wrote back to the children, which goes to illustrate the benefits of this type of reciprocal initiative.
"Not so many people write letters these days – perhaps it’s time to revisit the pleasures of having a penfriend", says Jane.
One behalf of everyone at St Monica Trust we would like to thank Chloe for all of her hard work and creativity in bringing this project together. Like rainbow pictures in the windows of so many, these letters are a symbol of hope and a reminder for our residents that there are people outside our communities who care for them deeply. What a message to send.