A CARE home has set up a pen pal project with pupils at a local school.

Highmarket House care home in Banbury has teamed up with Carrdus Prep School to set up the friendship scheme.

Throughout the lockdown period, residents received letters from Year 3 pupils.

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Now schools are back, they are hoping to create a long-term pen pal initiative.

The pupils’ words 'gave residents the opportunity to reminisce about their own school years, families, and childhoods’ when they wrote back.

One resident, Janet Wood, said: “I joined the Girl Guides at 11 and then went on to be Girl Guide leader, having a short break to have my children, then returning as commissioner of a new district up until retirement.

“I have always loved children and was overjoyed to receive written letters.

Oxford Mail:

Year 3 pupils with some of their letters.

“Writing letters seems to be a lost art and they have made me very happy – I particularly loved the photo of the girls opening my letters.”

Care home manager Jo Pohl said: “The letters have been a real conversation starter; we loved hearing about residents’ school years, childhood homes and families growing up.”

Ed Way, the head of Carddus School, added: “When lockdown was first announced for care homes, we knew we had to spread a little joy, so our Year 3 pupils put pen to paper and wrote letters to residents as a way to connect with them.

“Little did we expect that every letter would receive a reply.”

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Lucy Lavers from Brize Norton, had a similar idea for a scheme to write to care homes so she set up a Facebook page that people can join and find a care home resident to write to.

Ms Lavers. 44. is now encouraging schools and care homes to sign up for the scheme.

She said: “The Facebook group is less than two weeks old, and we already have 550 members.

“People are even writing letters from Australia. So now I just want as many care homes as possible and people to sign up.

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“I came up with the idea after making a resolution to write a letter to someone every day – and basically, I ran out of people to write to.

“I started looking around on Facebook to see if there were any letter-writing schemes I could join to write to people in care homes, but I could only find one in America.

“Then I thought, why don’t I just set one up here, so other people can write too.”

You can join the Facebook page here.