Even though care homes and their staff have been brilliant in supporting the needs of the people they look after holistically throughout the pandemic, we were concerned that some care home residents who we knew could be at risk of increased isolation and loneliness without visits from our team each week.
We wanted, in particular, to thank Nicky Reynolds who has written to residents every week since the start of the lockdown, as well as everyone who signed up to our Pen Pals virtual volunteering scheme, too.
A regular volunteer with us, and a former activities coordinator, Nicky knows all too well the value of company and connection for older people living in care homes, particularly those without any family of next of kin.
Although she was unable to visit with the new guidelines, Nicky decided to keep up contact by writing every week to residents at Lester Hall and Harley Grange (both on Elms Road in Leicester) who she used to visit weekly before lockdown.
We also put out a request for other people and received interest from scores of volunteers keen to write to those in care homes. Thank you to everyone who took part.
Although it was tricky, especially if residents were unable to respond directly, we are grateful to everyone who took part in this writing activity, and for those who continue to do so. It is not the same as visiting in person but it continues to remind some of our most vulnerable people that we are still thinking of them whilst we are apart.