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School children get older adult pen pals

11th December 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

In a bid to encourage children away from technology and reduce loneliness in the older community, a school in Kidderminster is connecting their students to local care home residents.

The new initiative has been launched as teachers feel their primary school students are missing out on not putting pen to paper. The older people based at the two local care homes involved in the project can be in regular contact with their new friends and this will help keep them interactive as well.

Older people with mobility problems that are in need of stair lifts to get around their home can find it difficult to get out and socialise, which is why this new scheme can help them avoid feeling isolated or lonely.

In an article on the BBC’s Newsround website it reveals that the children ask lots of questions about where their older pen pals have been on holiday and what they have done during their life.

This project has been a success with the children having fun without the need to go on Instagram, Facebook or snapchat. Now teachers at the school in Kidderminster are planning for their pupils to go and visit their pen pals in the two care homes.

Similar projects have also been a success

Other schemes that have seen older people and younger people socialise with each other have also been a huge success.

Earlier this year schools started integrational projects to help build better relationships between young and old people as well as tackle issues like bullying and bereavement. In this particular scheme the older adult and younger person worked on a book together and copies of the finished book were then given out.

Other schemes have seen children going into care homes for a day so they socialise with the older residents to help fight loneliness amongst the older generation. This type of programme was shown on Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.