Wisbech care home's pen-pal plea draws letters from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes

Staff at a care home say they have been "blown away" after a pen-pal plea asking for people to write to residents attracted a world-wide response. 

The Hickathrift House Care Home in Cambridgeshire has received letters from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Staff at the home in Wisbech appealed for pen-pals for residents by posting images with their names and hobbies on social media.

So far they have received thousands of letters for their 53 residents.

Letters are still pouring into the Cambridgeshire care home Credit: ITV News Anglia

Kat Colangelo organised the pen pal appeal and told ITV News Anglia that staff and residents had been overwhelmed by the response.

"Now we're receiving hundreds and hundreds of letters from around the world - it is not just our local community any more.

"We've got some from New Zealand, Australia - it has been incredible.

"It is not just myself but the residents who have been blown away by the generosity and kindness. People have donated things, not just letters, they have taken the time to draw pictures, make crafts."

Barrie Hickathrift says the appeal "makes him feel good" Credit: ITV News Anglia

Resident Barrie Hickathrift said he still could not believe that strangers were taking the time to put pen to paper for him."I think it is a great idea. It is an eye-opener," he said.

"They're writing nice stuff to me and they don't even know me - I feel good about it."

Staff at the care home say letters are still arriving every day but, having received thousands of responses already, they think they have enough pen-pals now for all of the residents.