A resident of a Norwich based care home has created a wonderful friendship with his pen pal and hopes to meet up with him again in the summer.
Michael has been living at MHA Cromwell House for five years and has been exchanging letters with seven year old Elijah.
MHA Cromwell House is a purpose built, fresh, modern, care home offering residential and respite care for 38 residents.
Michael was approached by Friends in Deed, a Norfolk-based charity which creates friendships across generations through various schemes with the aim of reducing loneliness and promoting kindness.
The pair have been exchanging letters since July 2021 and have struck up a great friendship with the pair exchanging three or four letters a month.
During Christmas, with the assistance of activities coordinator Angie Apurado, Michael went to visit Elijah which was a surprise visit and included Michael delivering some Christmas gifts.
Michael feels due to Elijah losing his grandfather, he helps him overcome the loss, even though he has not experienced being a grandfather.
The 83-year-old said: “I really enjoy speaking to Elijah and through the letters we have really gotten to know each other.
“He tells me what he does at school and prior to me going to see him he sent me some diabetic sweets which was very nice.
“He really enjoyed the surprise visit from me for Christmas and I am really happy I spoke with the charity and started the process of having a pen pal.
“Hopefully once the covid situation gets better and the weather gets warmer I am hoping to meet up with Elijah again and continue to grow our friendship.
“It’s been very enjoyable making friends with someone so much younger than me and I never would have thought we would have so much to talk about.”
Vicki Cockerill, Elijah’s mum said: “Elijah really enjoys planning his letters and it always makes his day when he receives a letter from Michael.
“Elijah loves typing and writing his letters and reads them aloud to the family.
“Elijah does not have a grandfather figure and Michael has certainly taken this role, he loves hearing about all of Michael’s stories about when he was growing up.
“Despite only writing for a few months the relationship between the two is blossoming which is a pleasure to see.
“Elijah really does care about Michael and loves going to look for presents and colouring pictures for him.”