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Ava's got the write idea as hundreds of letters sent to isolated elderly

Ava Ahrens with her letter to an elderly penpal
Ava Ahrens with her letter to an elderly penpal

ELDERLY people isolated due to the coronavirus crisis are receiving letters from kind-hearted children to lift their spirits.

One project to connect youngsters with the elderly has been set up by Ashurst mum Claire Ahrens, who launched Rainbow Letters in April.

The penpal scheme, which she launched on Facebook, now has 120 children who write letters to people in care homes.

Claire said: “The idea was originally inspired by my daughter Ava who loves sending letters and drawings to her granny, great-grandma and great-auntie, two of whom are currently isolating alone. And doing so really helped them feel appreciated, loved and so much happier during such uncertain times.

“The difference she was making to their lives filled Ava with a sense of pride, and one evening we talked about all the other elderly people who might be missing their loved ones, feeling alone and would also appreciate some joy in their lives.

“With this in mind together we decided to set up Rainbow Letters in the hope that other like-minded children would want to spread some joy by reaching out to local elderly people.”

Similarly, pupils at Ballard School in New Milton have taken part in the From Me to You initiative by Age UK Southampton, which sees letters attached to food parcels for those self-isolating.

To help the organisation with its good work, the school has covered the £100 cost of postage and packing and given a further £100 donation.

Claire Roberts, head of services at Age UK Southampton, said: “The letters are amazing and certainly made me smile and shed a tear.

“I’m sure each one will make a difference and bring joy to those who receive them. A huge thank you to all of the pupils who took part.”

To get involved with Rainbow Letters visit www.facebook.com/rainbowletters or email claire.ahrens87@gmail.com

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