A veteran care charity is asking children to send letters and artwork to its residents now that schools are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Royal Star & Garter launched its 'Letters With Love’ campaign to encourage young people to send post to its residents to brighten up their day.
The charity, which provides compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, is limiting visitors to its three homes, including visits from outside entertainers, as part of its infection management protocol.
The hope is that receiving the letters and artwork will help residents to feel less isolated as the population is asked to remain in their homes.
Andy Cole, the Chief Executive of Royal Star & Garter who spoke to BFBS Radio on the importance of the campaign, said:
“Normally in a week, we would have lots of school visits and young people in and out of the homes.
“We really try to encourage that our older residents are meeting with younger people.
“We have toddler groups who come in and work with the residents as well.
“We can’t do that at the moment for obvious reasons.”
Royal Star & Garter will share the letters and artwork on social media, using the hashtag #LettersWithLove
One resident, among the many who have said they love receiving handwritten letters, cards and drawings, said:
“It means so much when we receive letters from children. And some of the drawings they send are so good.
"It’s lovely to know what they’re getting up to and that they’re thinking of us oldies. They really brighten up our days.”
One suggestion is that pupils could send in drawings of rainbows. This follows a national campaign in which creative and elaborate drawings of rainbows were placed in windows up and down the country - to help spread hope amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Dedicated staff members from Royal Star & Garter’s Homes are continuing to provide exceptional person-centred care despite the challenges faced with the coronavirus outbreak.
This includes the continuation of entertainment activities within the homes and keeping residents in contact with family via FaceTime and Skype. Andy said:
“Our staff are absolutely amazing, and they are making every effort to keep life as normal as possible within the home.
"But, obviously we are working … in different circumstances and the normal things that we would do, we’re having to be a little bit more creative.”
One of the homes, the Royal Star & Garter in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, has already been receiving letters, cards and drawings from High Wycombe CofE School and Castlefield School.
Anyone who wants to send artwork or letters to the Solihull and Surbiton Royal Star & Garter care homes, can do so in three ways:
Letters, cards and drawings can be uploaded directly to www.starandgarter.org/letterswithlove
Alternatively, they can be sent to the Solihull and Surbiton Homes directly:
Royal Star & Garter
Royal Star & Garter
Upper Brighton Road