Compassionate Pen Pals by Lincoln Minster School and Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire

Compassionate Pen Pals by Lincoln Minster School and Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire

A group of young people who make up Compassionate Minster, from Lincoln Minster School have collaborated with Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire to create a new pen pal project aimed at bridging the gap between generations and helping to alleviate loneliness and isolation in older people within our communities.

Compassionate Minster are a group of students at Lincoln Minster School working with Compassionate Lincoln to make the local community a better place. They hold social action events to help people in need.

Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire have been working as a local independent charity for over 61 years to support older people. Currently supporting over 4000 older people a week in Lincoln and South Lincolnshire with an array of vital support services.

Compassionate Pen Pals will offer local older people the opportunity to engage with a younger person through the age-old medium of letter writing.

Jenny Muir of Lincoln Minster School said: “We are delighted that we are able to work with Age UK in supporting and delivering this project. The Compassionate Minster pupils have, from day one, identified the very important role that young people can have in supporting those in our community who feel isolated and lonely so have placed their relationship with Age UK at the heart of their social action initiatives.”

Although the period of lockdown has presented many difficulties for our young and old alike, there have been opportunities also. For our young people, having a change of pace has allowed time for reflection away from social media and peer pressures in a way they haven’t experienced before, allowing them time to engage in simpler activities. Writing letters is not something our young people are familiar with! However, this project offers a welcome opportunity for them to engage with members of the elderly community in a new way and through a medium that has previously been lost to them.”

I know that there is so much our pupils and their pen pals will gain from this project but, equally, know that there is much they can offer to each other.”

Michele Jolly, CEO of Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire said: “Many older people within our communities have been living in isolation for many years. The recent pandemic has highlighted what it feels like to be lonely and isolated.

For many older people this was their reality before and during Covid-19 and it will continue to be so afterwards. The focus of this project is on preventing loneliness.”

The generations have much to share and learn from each other, for these students, it is something they want to do for themselves, and to help our local community. It is also a chance to learn more about the lives of older people in Lincolnshire their heritage and culture. We are delighted to support this initiative.”

Find out more about Compassionate Pen Pals here.

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