Haberdasher Students Form Bonds with Local Community by Writing to Care Home Residents

A Sixth-Former at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls has set up a pen pal initiative, pairing students with residents at local care homes.

Jess Folwell (Upper 6) writes, "During the first lockdown, I was unable to visit and chat to residents at my local care home as I had previously been doing. I thought it was important to stay in contact with them nonetheless, as I had really been enjoying getting to know them. So I decided to start exchanging letters with the residents and it became a real highlight of my week to receive letters from them.

I thought it would be great if I could get more people involved and connected with the older generation in this lockdown and so, alongside the rest of the Senior Prefect Team, we set up a pen pal initiative at Habs, pairing students with residents in local care homes. We’ve had an amazing response, with over 100 students wanting to get involved.

Charlotte in Upper 5 said that she signed up as she knows how grateful she is to have a good group of friends and family around her who she can share things with at this time, 'so by writing letters it’s a nice way of communicating with someone outside of this support group.' We’ve now paired up around 65 students with residents at four different care homes in the past few weeks (and we’ll be pairing more up in the coming weeks).

Students have been extremely keen to form bonds with our local community by reaching out to residents who may be feeling lonely and isolated as most will be unable to receive visitors as regularly as before Covid. Sarannia in Lower 6 says she thinks 'it’s important that we all try and help our community during such a difficult time, and letter writing is a great way to do so, from the safety of our homes'. The students are eagerly awaiting responses from the residents and hope to write back and continue to get to know them through their letters."