Intergenerational Pen Pals

Posted: 2nd April 2021

This term, as part of their Life Skills curriculum, Year 8 wrote letters to the clients of Age UK. Life Skills forms an essential part of Cobham Hall’s offering, enabling girls to learn new skills, become part of the community and push the boundaries of their comfort zones.

Speaking at the start of the Pen Pal Project, Life Skills Co-Ordinator Mrs Bonner explained, “The group have embarked on an exciting project with the charity Age UK and have begun writing what is hoped to be the first of many letters.   The students’ letters will be distributed to vulnerable and isolated elderly people and it is hoped that valuable friendships will be forged.”

The girls enjoyed writing their letters and were thrilled when they received replies, as Amber describes, “I loved the letter writing project with Age Concern,” she says, “because I had been thinking lots about old people during lockdown and how lonely they must be if they live on their own. It was heart-breaking watching the news showing how Covid hit care homes and how many elderly people haven’t seen their family members in months. So, it made me feel really happy to write the letter and it was an even better feeling to get a reply. My Pen Pal is called Maureen and I have already written her another letter. I was relieved to read that she has had the vaccine. I hope we can stay in touch.”

“The letters to the elderly project has been a real hit,” commented Mrs Bonner, “and I have such high hopes that it will benefit our students immeasurably.”

We’re hopeful that Sue Parker of Age UK will be able to come in to talk to the girls about their work, specifically the day centres and befriending schemes and to give the students an insight into what life is like for many of their clients. When restrictions are further loosened, we are planning to arrange for them to visit the Day Centre too.

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