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Fighting Loneliness With Letters For Kirklees Care Home Residents

Over a hundred letters have been arriving from all over the world for elderly residents living at a Huddersfield care home.

Residents at Thornhill Care Home, on Thornhill Road, Edgerton, have been receiving art, crafts, poetry, and friendly messages from as far away as Australia after signing up to scheme aimed at reducing loneliness.

The Give… A Few Words community interest company, based in Kirklees, was set up during the Covid-19 pandemic to support care home residents in the area during lockdown.

Following the success of the initiative, the company has continued to distribute letters and packages it receives from all over the world to care homes across Kirklees.

Thornhill Care Home has so far received 166 letters, which have included words, embroidery, art, clay decorations and more.

They have been sent from all over Kirklees and the wider Yorkshire region, as well as London, Inverness, and Sydney, Australia, to name a few.

Give… A Few Words receives the letters from college students, those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, retirees, carers, families, businesses, and community organisations, among others.

Sharron Wilkinson, from Give… A Few Words, contacted Thornhill Care Home activities coordinator Ilona Ruttle earlier this year to see if residents would be interested in receiving letters.

Ilona said: “I didn’t know what to expect but was totally amazed by the wonderful letters that arrived for the residents.

Sharron, from Give… A Few Words, visited Thornhill Care Home to deliver a batch of letters in person, as well as a gift bag for the staff.

She said: “Give…A Few Words came about at the beginning of lockdown, in 2020 in response to a Huddersfield based care home whose residents were feeling isolated and unable to see their family and friends.

“Since then, we have sent over 1,500 letters per year for care home residents, charities and for people isolated across the community.

“Not just words but people normally receive at least five letters, which includes personalised post matched to hobbies and interests, crafts, art such as water colour paintings, clay decorations, poetry and lots more. We quite often can’t believe what falls out of envelopes.

“These are written by the kindest and most wonderful volunteers the width and breadth of the country and overseas too.

“It is a genuine pleasure working on this project and I feel very humble and privileged to see the best of humanity every single day.”



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