Solihull home authors pen pal initiative

Solihull care home Claridge Place has kicked off an intergenerational pen pal initiative to help keep residents in touch with the local community during the coronavirus lockdown.

Visits to Claridge Place, operated by Sanders Senior Living, are currently postponed but students of local school Tudor Grange Academy Solihull have agreed to write letters to elderly residents of the home.

A Sanders Senior Living spokeswoman said: “Being accustomed to receiving letters when living in their own properties, paper communication is a familiar form that they no longer really have dealings with, but the potential pen pal scheme will reignite that and will be a great means to make new friends and it will help in efforts to bridge the generation gap.

“Claridge Place Director, Peta Mandleberg, thought it’d be great to approach a school to connect with to help reduce loneliness and isolation at this time.”

The spokeswoman added: “Peta approached Tudor Grange Academy Solihull - where her stepdaughter happens to work - with the idea and they confirmed immediately that they were keen to support the initiative as it links directly to the Academy's values, which include kindness and empathy.

“When the coronavirus threat has passed, we are hopeful that the students will be able to meet the residents and continue their new found friendships in person, getting to know one another, with communication then continuing on paper and in person on a regular basis.”