Newton Rigg College students have launched a new befriending project aimed at connecting generations and stopping Penrith care home residents becoming lonely during lockdown.
Students from the level two health and social care course at Newton Rigg College launched their befriending project earlier this month on Kindness Cumbria Day.
The project focuses on setting up an inter-generational pen pal scheme between students and residents in local care homes to ensure no one is lonely during this latest lockdown and holiday season.
Students have been preparing letters for the residents so they can get to know them over the coming weeks and months.
Joanne Tate, employability team leader at Newton Rigg College, said: “In previous years, we’ve been so grateful to our local care homes for welcoming our students for their industry placements, an integral part of their course.
“As placements in care homes are not possible at this time, we see this as a great alternative opportunity to support the elderly in our local community and build those important relationships.”
Employability coach Nicola Hullock added: “I’m proud of how the students have embraced this partnership and show real empathy towards the residents; the students are looking forward to getting to know them.”
One of the students taking part in the new befriending project is Becca Parkinson.
Becca said the project was “good for them and us” as it provided an opportunity to develop communication skills and meet work placement targets while forming friendships in the local community.
The students hope to eventually extend their letter writing to virtual sessions using video software in future.