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opening letter

In celebration of World Friendship Day 2021 (30 July) we’re sharing news about our new pen pal scheme which has been connecting older residents and helping them beat isolation.


Customers from Sheffield, York,  Bradford and Barnsley have formed new friendships and built confidence through writing letters to other residents.


Yorkshire Housing activity co-ordinator Georgia Irving  said: “Connecting customers in different sheltered schemes was suggested by our scheme managers to help tackle the loneliness.


“We put out a call in our newsletter asking if customers would like to be matched with a pen friend. It was initially anonymous, and they could opt to keep in touch by post or email. After a trial period they could decide if they’d like to swap details.


“It’s been a success and most of the pen pals have decided to stay in touch. They’ve said it’s been nice to have someone to write to and they’ve enjoyed finding out more about their pen friends. One customer said his pen pal studies electronics and is even writing a book. Another customer said writing to their friend has helped them improve their writing and spelling.”


Following the success of the trial its hoped to get more customers involved who want to make a new friend. Find out more here.