Hickathrift House Care Home in Wisbech has launched a pen pal scheme which has become a global phenomenon with over half a million views and thousands of shares on Facebook, and letters pouring in from all over the world.
The project was originally set up with the aim of connecting residents with the children from local Marshland St James Primary School, to share their stories past and present and make new friends spanning the ages through the inter-generational scheme. The residents and children loved writing and receiving letters and sharing their news so much that Hickathrift House extended the pen pal scheme to the wider community with huge success.
The idea is that people write a letter or send an email to Hickathrift House with details of their hobbies and interests and the home matches each person to one of their residents who writes back with their news. Since the scheme was broadened to the wider community, the home has received letters from all over the world including America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malta, Malaysia and South Africa.
Kat Colangelo, Activities Coordinator at Hickathrift House, said: “Our residents absolutely love receiving letters and news from all sorts of different people, they really look forward to getting letters and emails. They have all enjoyed sharing their stories with first the young pupils and then the wider community. There are so many incredible tales and they love hearing about adventures from all over the world. We never imagined the idea would be so popular when we first started writing letters last summer!”