A SPECIAL connection has been forged between young and old folk through a pen pal scheme.

Children at Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe asked if they could write letters to residents living at the town's Manors care home, in a bid to reduce social isolation and improve communication between the generations.

The children in Years 5 to 8 wanted to break down the barriers of lockdown and maintain contact with residents, so began writing letters when the Government introduced lockdown in March.

Replying to one of the letters, Celia who has been a resident of the Manors since 2018 with her husband John told her pen pal Ruby she liked to read and knit. She enjoys musicals, particularly Mamma Mia and ABBA songs.

Celia said: “I have such admiration for how the children have adapted and have coped with this new way of living. They’ve really taught us a lesson in how to entertain ourselves, the children have thought of such creative ways to busy themselves. Their positivity is absolutely wonderful.”

The initiative was co-ordinated by subject leader for music Lyndsay Gibson, arts leader Stuart Rutherford-Orrock, and Sharon Westgarth, teaching support.

Lyndsay said: “We have a long-established relationship with the local community and in particular, the residents living at the Manors.

“Inter-generational work is encouraged and a big part of our education and ethos and it is important for our children and residents of the local community to come together to create an understanding, communicate and share experiences.”

Lauren McKie, the activities coordinator at the Manors, added: “ It’s brought a smile to their faces and gave them something to look forward to during this difficult time.”