Local children from community groups, ‘Arty Time’ and ‘Copper Beech Friends,’ have become pen pals for residents at Copper Beech Bupa Care Home in Uckfield, during lockdown.
For the last two years, Arty Time – a group of pre-school children aged 0-5 and their mothers, would visit residents at Copper Beech each week for an afternoon of arts and crafts, singing and lots of laughter. The regular trips were organised by staff at the care home to create a varied schedule of activities for residents and to give them the opportunity to interact with another generation – some special friendships have since formed following these visits.
Due to lockdown restrictions these visits were paused, but staff at the Bupa care home wanted to make sure the residents and children maintained their friendships and continued the community spirit, which is when they came up with the pen pals idea. Using social media and WhatsApp, the parents of the ‘Arty Time’ children have sent residents photographs of their children growing up and the antics they’re getting up to at home as well as drawings and other gifts.
‘Copper Beech Friends’ – a community group consisting of the care home team’s children, grandchildren, neighbours, and local school children – have also been in touch to keep everyone entertained. Residents have received heart-warming letters, decorated pebbles and even ‘hugs’ in a card, each filling them with comfort and joy.
Colin Greenstreet, resident at Copper Beech Bupa Care Home, comments: “It has become my favourite time of the day when we hear how our young friends are doing. The children are all so wonderful and I miss them coming to the home each week, so I’m thrilled that the home have found a way for us to still communicate with them and their families.”
Home Manager, Gillian Carter, added: “Having the children visit brings real excitement to our residents so we’re thrilled that our pen pal’s initiative has been a success in maintaining treasured friendships and has kept the residents entertained. It brings the residents pure joy to see the little ones smiling and having fun, so we thank all the Arty Time parents and our Copper Beech Friends for keeping in touch – it really does mean the world.”
Copper Beech Care Home welcomes anyone in need of nursing or residential care, including those living with dementia, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. For further information, please visit.