Children's 'Cheerful Little Letter' project is brightening life for elderly people in Milton Keynes care homes

A Milton Keynes mum has launched a heartwarming project encouraging children to write letters to elderly people isolated in care homes during coronavirus lockdown.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 4:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 7:50 pm

Lucy Murray set up a Facebook group called 'The Cheerful Little Letter Project' a week ago - and already it rocketed to have more than 1,400 members.

She started out intending just to send letters to her local care home, in Newport Pagnell, but soon other homes contacted her asking if their residents can be included.

She now has well over 300 elderly residents in eight different care homes matched with children and families. And already children from all over MK have posted off hundreds of letters and drawings - all guaranteed to make the elderly recipients smile with delight.

Lucy and her own daughter with a drawing about to be posted

Lucy said: "I know how much joy letters and drawings from children can bring to people; and everyone loves receiving a little surprise in the post."

"Care homes may be limiting or stopping visits due to the potential spread of the virus to protect the elderly. We would like to help combat loneliness and isolation by matching children with care home residents so they can post them drawings and letters.

"The project also aims to give children and their parents something positive to focus on; this is a wonderful way to keep children occupied and help them to spread a little kindness."

Once people join the Facebook group, Lucy allocates each member a door number of a care home resident. Members have the option of including a stamped addressed envelope if they would like 'their' resident to write back.

Children post their letters to the care homes

*It would be lovely if you are able to continue writing to them throughout the isolation period. I will be adding care homes one at a time so we can make sure all residents receive a letter before moving on to the next," said Lucy.

Families are welcome to write to more than one resident and grown ups can join in too.

Lucy, who runs Olive and Pip, a business that makes gifts from children's artwork, has even have spoken to Public Heath England about the possibility of spreading germs through letter writing.

"They have told me it is safe to send post and there are no concerns with this project. However, please continue to follow government guidance as it comes out and practise good hand washing before writing letters just to be safe," she said.

You can join the scheme via Facebook here.