A Care home in Grimsby is turning to good old-fashioned letter writing to help residents stay in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cranwell Court on Cambridge Road, part of the HICA Group, has joined up with the Write Me Uk campaign to help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness during this difficult time.

The residents are connecting with various members of their family via letters, encouraging them to write back.

“Because of modern technology many of our service users have not received a letter in years,” said Abby Brewer, Support Worker at Cranwell Court. “We have really enjoyed in writing letters to send to families. It has also been a fantastic reminiscence exercise and prompted lots of memories and discussions.

One letter arrived this morning for a resident. She loved it, the smile on her face said it all. Just hearing from her grand-daughter makes all the difference.

Abby continued, “These letters are fabulous for helping people in isolation and also bringing a bit of joy and happiness to resident. This is a time to stick together as an extended family and spread the joy.

And it’s not just the residents who benefit from the scheme. Andrew and Jenny Skelton’s son lives at Cranwell Court, “Staying in touch with our son in his care home in times of isolation is very important for us, particularly when we are in ‘lockdown’. Having visited him, practically on a daily basis for the past three years, it has been a very difficult time.  We were delighted by the opportunity to write a letter to him, now that it is not possible to see him.  Knowing that he is being given our news directly by a carer reading out our letter enables a real degree of connectivity with him.  We are able to receive some feedback if there is any response by him to any family member or event mentioned in our letter, and this is particularly heartening and uplifting.  We know that he is very well looked after by all the carers but the reading of our letter to him gives us an opportunity to communicate directly to him and to express our personal thoughts and feelings, and this is important both for us and for our son. “

The Write Me initiative was started by Abbie and her partner Jake Cosgrove.

Jake said, “We’re currently working with a few other homes more local to myself in Leeds and in the North East to get this campaign moving. The campaign has been designed to assist and inspire homes to get their residents writing letters, regardless of their capacity. We’ve got plenty of stamps, envelopes and other resources ready to be donated to enable them to get the ball rolling and we think for some homes being part of something larger could be a real boost for staff and local communities.”

You can link with the campaign at [email protected] or on their social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writeme.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writeme.uk/

The HICA Group is a not for profit organisation, which operates a portfolio of 16 residential care homes, five of which are for people with a learning disability, along with two retirement villages.  The company also runs a home care service providing approximately 11,500 hours of support and care from five regional offices in the North of England and Staffordshire.