Buxton care home teams up with churches to launch penpal project

A Buxton care home has seen a flurry of postcards drop through the letterbox in recent weeks, thanks to a new penpal partnership with parish churches.

By Ed Dingwall
Thursday, 11th November 2021, 5:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 5:06 pm

Residents at Portland Nursing Home, on Park Road, have been overjoyed to receive mail from church members, helping them to make new social connections and stay in touch with the wider community.

Activities coordinator Emilie Shrimpton said: “I thought this would be a lovely idea for our residents so they feel connected to even more people in their local community.

“It’s been so special seeing the reaction of the residents over the last few weeks when they read their postcards from people in Buxton. They are extremely excited to have new pen friends.”

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The postcards have helped residents connect with the wider community.

The first personalised hand-written postcards arrived in August, with the writers detailing their daily lives and interests, and residents have been corresponding in return.

Social connection for elderly people is critical, playing an essential role in their mental, emotional and physical health. Strong networks provide a sense of comfort, togetherness and is also seen as a hobby that allows a better quality of life.

Reverend Liz England, team rector-in-charge of Buxton with Burbage and King Sterndale, said: “We sent a message to our six congregations in Buxton Team Parish to ask for letters to be written.

“Many have loved writing creative letters, even if it was to people they did not know. It is a wonderful idea and we were delighted to be able to join in with it.”

The project has delighted both senders and recipients.

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