Pupils from a Northumberland school and residents from a nearby care home have formed friendships during lockdown by writing letters to each other.
The children from Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe asked if they could write letters to residents living at The Manors to reduce social isolation and improve communication between the generations.
The children from years 5-8 wanted to try and break down some of the barriers of lockdown. They started writing letters to the residents when the Government introduced the lockdown in March.
A handful of letters were sent to the scheme addressed to all residents and the children, aged 9-13, waited in anticipation for a response.
They wrote letters about their families, school, pets and hobbies and how they have adapted to life during lockdown. They also acknowledged how difficult it must be for the residents not to have any social contact with family or friends and hoped their letters would give them some comfort and assure them that they were being thought of. Some children also drew rainbows and their favourite cartoon characters.
Replying to one of the letters, Celia who has been a resident of The Manors since 2018 with her husband John, told her pen pal Ruby she liked to read and knit. She enjoys musicals, particularly Mamma Mia and ABBA songs.
Celia, who will be celebrating her 80th birthday this August, told Ruby she had worked as a secretary and enjoyed dancing when she was younger. She also sent Ruby a birthday card with her letter and said she was looking forward to meeting her in person.
The initiative was co-ordinated by Lyndsay Gibson, subject leader for music, Stuart Rutherford-Orrock, head of year 5 and arts leader and Sharon Westgarth, teaching support. Ms Gibson said: “We have a long-established relationship with the local community and in particular, the residents living at The Manors. We took some of the children to visit in December to sing Christmas Carols and we all sent birthday cards to Mrs Wilson who, during lockdown, turned 90 years old."