11 May 2021
Earlier this term, Year 8 students at Cobham Hall, Gravesend, wrote letters to the clients of Age UK. The letter-writing project was part of a new Life Skills curriculum established by Cobham Hall this year. It forms an essential part of Cobham Hall’s offering, enabling girls to learn new skills, become part of the community and push the boundaries of their comfort zones.
Speaking at the start of the Pen Pal Project, Life Skills Co-ordinator Mrs Bonner explained, “The group embarked on an exciting project with the charity Age UK and began writing what is hoped to be the first of many letters. The students’ letters will be distributed to vulnerable and isolated elderly people and it is hoped that valuable friendships will be forged.”
The girls enjoyed writing their letters and were thrilled when they received replies, as Amber describes, “I loved the letter writing project with Age Concern,” she says, “because I had been thinking lots about elderly people during lockdown and how lonely they must be if they live on their own. It was heart-breaking watching the news showing how Covid hit care homes and how many elderly people haven’t seen their family members in months. So, it made me feel really happy to write the letter and it was an even better feeling to get a reply. My Pen Pal is called Maureen and I have already written her another letter. I was relieved to read that she has had the vaccine. I hope we can stay in touch.”
“The letters to the elderly project has been a real hit,” commented Mrs Bonner, “and I have such high hopes that it will benefit our students immeasurably.”
Cobham Hall is hopeful that Mrs Parker will be able to come in to talk to the students about their work, specifically the day centres and befriending schemes and to give the students an insight into what life is like for many of their clients. A reciprocal visit to the Day Centre will also be planned, once restrictions are further loosened.