Latymerian’s inter-generational initiative to tackle loneliness in lockdown

In the year when she would have been taking her GCSE exams, Nina, a Year 11 student, has  instead come up with a brilliant initiative to tackle isolation and loneliness during lockdown.

Nina had previously set up Community Senior Music, where semi-professional musicians performed concerts at care homes. When Covid-19 struck this was no longer possible, but instead of giving up, Nina looked at how she might adapt her project to keep the elderly connected during this unusual time. 

Instead of providing musical entertainment for the residents, Nina came up with the idea for Community Senior Letters , inviting children at primary schools to send letters or drawings to an elderly person at a care home in their local community. This inter-generational project was an inspired way for providing some form of human connection while people were isolated from the outside world. Both students and the recipients benefit and some have formed friendships through this creative initiative.

Nina said “I believe that letters and drawings have the power to affect empathy and connection between two people from different generations, contexts, and walks of life.

“Sending and receiving these letters helps to uplift spirits, ease stress and relax the mind.

“Not only does it provide elderly people with some form of human connection during isolation, but it also helps to alleviate any boredom the pupils may be feeling.”

To date, Nina has  recruited 130+ schools and 110 care homes in 18 different boroughs around London, as well as a few schools and care homes paired in other cities such as Edinburgh and Dublin. The feedback has been great, with both students and care home residents appreciating the opportunity to bridge the inter-generational gap.

Nina’s amazing project  has earned her a place on The Independent’s Happy List 2020: Heroes in a crisis  as well as coverage in the media , ranging from articles in MyLondon News and The Speaker Politics to Tweets and Facebook posts, magazine articles, radio features and a podcast. 

All quite a remarkable achievement, considering she has also been keeping up with her studies this term!

cfl@latymer
Author: cfl@latymer

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