Larbert pupils' lockdown letters touch hearts of care home residents

Larbert High School pupils have delivered much-needed cheer by writing lockdown letters to residents of a local care home.

By Kirsty Paterson
Thursday, 8th October 2020, 8:48 pm
30-09-2020. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Day 191 of UK wide coronavirus lockdown. Day 83 of Phase Three of lockdown easing in Scotland. LARBERT, Larbert High School. National 4 English pupils who have written to Carrondale Care Home residents during lockdown and are now going to be penpals.
30-09-2020. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Day 191 of UK wide coronavirus lockdown. Day 83 of Phase Three of lockdown easing in Scotland. LARBERT, Larbert High School. National 4 English pupils who have written to Carrondale Care Home residents during lockdown and are now going to be penpals.

The S4 English pupils sent nearly 50 letters to Carrondale Nursing Home to give residents a boost while visits to the home are strictly limited because of Covid-19.

Proud teacher, Megan Thomson, said some of her N4 English class came up with the idea themselves after watching a documentary about ageism.

“When the pupils were discussing what older people had been going through during lockdown in particular, they felt they wanted to reach out to a local care home,” she said.

The idea was taken up enthusiastically by all three N4 English classes – and it also gave the 21st century youngsters an insight into something quite new to them.

“Some of the pupils had never written a letter before, so this was an important new skill for them,” said Megan.

“All the letters were handwritten too which made them very personal!”

The young people wrote about their own experiences during lockdown and told residents about their hopes for the future – but they also took time to ask how the residents were getting on.

“The pupils have really shown a lot of empathy and the letters are very sweet,” said Megan.

The letters were quarantined before being handed out to delighted residents of the home in Carron.

“They just loved receiving the letters,” said Linda Stewart, the home’s health and wellbeing co-ordinator.

“It meant so much to them to read the letters and we were amazed at the connections – each letter really struck a chord.

“They opened them sitting in the lounge together and it gave them something to talk about with each other.

“These days, with everything being on tablets, it was lovely to see a hand-written letter.

“It’s been so good for their health and wellbeing and it’s extremely touching, knowing that 16-year-olds are thinking about care home residents.”

Both Megan and Linda now hope this is the start of a friendship across the generations.

Some residents have already penned return letters – and they hope very much to stay in touch.

> Kirsty Paterson is the Local Democracy Reporter for Falkirk

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