2022 New Year Honour for Sixth Former

Congratulations to Sixth Form student, Nina, who is being awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2022 New Year Honours List. BEMs are awarded to people for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community and Nina is being recognised for her intergenerational initiative, Community Senior Letters. 

Nina set up Community Senior Letters, a non-profit community project, that matches students in schools with residents in care homes, so that they can write letters, providing the elderly with a form of human connection that helps to ease feelings of isolation and loneliness which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.  Nina established the project just after the start of the first lockdown when she realised that she’d no longer be able to continue running Community Senior Music, her initiative to take musical entertainment into care homes. Nina felt that letters could really help to lift spirits and put a smile on the residents’ faces, while the students involved develop valuable skills – not just writing but also kindness and empathy. The project enables intergenerational connections to be made and friendships to be formed, building a sense of community and benefiting society as a whole.

Over 250 care homes and more than 250 schools, both in the UK and internationally, have gotten involved, writing hundreds of thousands of letters. There have been letters sent from all corners of the globe – North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – with coverage in various media outlets such as CBBC Newsround, Telegraph and Independent, as well as recognition for Nina including The Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, Children and Young People Now: Children’s Achievement Award and Hammersmith & Fulham Covid-19 Champion Award. 

Nina and her initiative also feature in ‘One Hundred Reasons to Hope’, the book that Captain Sir Tom Moore was working on before he died and Nina is now linking up with The Captain Tom Foundation, as they share a similar mission – reducing loneliness and bridging the gap between young and old people.

Author: carolineroberts

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