Letter writing project helps our elderly customers in Northamptonshire get through lockdown

Elderly customers from across East Northamptonshire are receiving heart-warming letters from local pupils as part of a BBC radio project.

As we continue to support our customers through the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve teamed up with BBC Radio Northampton to help some of our residents in sheltered schemes stay connected with their local community.

Farrar Court in Irthlingborough, The Shrubberies in Kettering and Rowlett Close and Spring Gardens in Higham Ferrers have all been ‘adopted’ by local secondary schools, which will see pupils pen letters to residents at the schemes to raise a smile in uncertain times.

The project is all part of BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference campaign, which aims to offer support and practical solutions to members of the community who may be feeling isolated in the current circumstances.

Danielle Robbins, Sheltered Housing Service Manager, who is helping to co-ordinate the project, said: “We know that social isolation and loneliness are problems that already affect our older population and obviously the social distancing measures in place have only heightened that.

The project with BBC Northampton and the local schools is a great way to increase social contact amongst our most vulnerable residents and a lovely addition to the regular calls that they’ve been receiving from our team at Longhurst Group.

Elderly couple looking happy

“While many of our residents are making use of social media, we are aware that there will be some that do not have access to these platforms or a network to contact. 

“The project with BBC Northampton and the local schools is a great way to increase social contact amongst our most vulnerable residents and a lovely addition to the regular calls that they’ve been receiving from our team at Longhurst Group. 

“I hope the links that we’re forming with the schools will continue in the future and we can build some great inter-generational work within our local communities.”

With schools across the district currently closed, the pupils began writing the letters after the school Easter Holidays as part of their studies from home.

Martin Borley, reporter for BBC Radio Northampton said: “BBC Radio Northampton has always been about informing and entertaining the local community. 

“During the current crisis we’ve pulled out all the stops to help local people and our Make a Difference campaign is part of that.  It’s really heartening that so many of our schools are asking their pupils to write letters to elderly or vulnerable people. 

“It’s such a simple way to make a real difference to people who may be feeling isolated.”


    
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