One Letter, One Smile

One Letter, One Smile

  • Suitable for: Everyday writers and artists
  • Where: At home
  • Time: An hour plus
  • Who benefits: Older people who feel isolated

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak we are looking for Penpals to write to older, vulnerable people that are feeling lonely and isolated. Many people over the age of 70 are at a greater risk of developing mental health issues. They have the pressure of increased health anxiety, combined with a lack of regular social contact.

Some local charities and public services have identified older people who are no longer able to participate in the social activities they provided and as a result may be at risk of isolation.   To help maintain a sense of community connection for these older people and to brighten their days, we are looking for Volunteer Penpals to write a letter for each of these clients.

The letters can be handwritten or typed (ideally in a reasonably large font size). You can write about whatever is of interest. Some ideas include the following (however please feel free to use your own ideas):

  • yourself and your household – how you are dealing with the impact of Covid-19
  • your plans for the future
  • books or TV shows you are enjoying/have enjoyed
  • tips on passing the time – simple recipes/gardening ideas/gentle exercises

If you have children, then please encourage them to provide a drawing or a short letter or poem to be included. Or if you are an artist, feel free to include a drawing of your own.

Letters/drawings can be scanned/photographed or sent as an email attachment to:
Please note your letters will be read by a volunteer or staff member from Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead before being distributed to older clients. We recommend you do not include a postal address. However, if you would be happy to receive a response, please include your full name.  If the recipient of your letter wishes to respond, then we will  arrange this via email.

Writing a single letter would be great and would lift the spirits of an older person.  If you have time and feel able to make a longer term commitment then a weekly letter would be lovely, until regular social activities can resume.

“Thank you so much, our residents are loving receiving the letters.”  – Wykeham House Care Home