Ashbourne schoolchildren send handwritten letters to local retirees

As part of National Intergenerational Week and the ‘My Dear Friend’ campaign, children from St Oswald’s C.E. Primary School in Ashbourne have been busy sending handwritten letters to their neighbours at Churchill Retirement Living’s Eliot Lodge.

To the delight of the local retirees, the first batch of letters was delivered by hand on Friday.

St Oswalds Headteacher Becky Woods said: “The ‘My Dear Friend’ campaign has been developed by the Literacy Trust and encourages children to handwrite letters, helping them to express their feelings and understand the lives and experiences of others. As Eliot Lodge is just a stone’s throw away from St Oswald’s School we thought it was a perfect opportunity for our pupils to connect with the older generation in our community. Many people love to receive a handwritten letter and we feel that his is becoming a lost art of communication!”

Churchill’s Regional Marketing Manager Bernadette Hennelly added: “We were delighted to be a part of this initiative, helping to connect the generations through the power of the written word. The topic for the first round of letters was World Book Day, which is also very fitting since Eliot Lodge was named in memory of the author George Eliot, who was a regular visitor to Ashbourne. Our Owners very much enjoyed receiving the letters, and will look forward to keeping up their correspondence with the children in future.”