Pen pal network creates new friendships for residents across Exemplar Health Care

29 September 2021

Female sat at table reading a letter

This week, Exemplar Health Care has launched a new pen pal network to support residents across its 35 care homes to keep in touch with each other and make new friendships.

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, residents from our Longley Park View and Yarningdale care homes started writing to each other to combat loneliness.

Following this success, and in the lead up to World Post Day, we’re delighted to start the pen pal network across all of our 35 care homes to encourage people to develop new friendships and keep in touch.

The pen pal network will see residents keeping in touch through letters, cards, drawings and photos.

Sophia Feurtado, Service User Engagement Manager at Exemplar Health Care, is overseeing the network. She shares:

“The idea of pen pals actually started in two of our homes who started writing to each other last year, when COVID-19 restrictions stopped family visits and mixing.

“Residents at Longley Park View and Yarningdale loved receiving letters and postcards from each other.

“We’ve now decided to extend the network across all of our 35 care homes, to offer people the opportunity to connect and get to know people with similar hobbies and interests. We hope that this will support people to make new friends.

“The pen pal network will also support people to develop new skills such as writing and communication skills, share ideas and learn from each other.

“We’ve also had interest from Exemplar Health Care colleagues and students at local colleges who will be included in our pen pal groups across the year.

“We’ve already had some great responses to the network, with one resident sharing “Oh how exciting, I’m looking forward to getting started.””

Service user engagement

We put meaningful engagement and activity at the centre of daily life in our care homes, and we’re proud to launch this network as part of our ever growing service user engagement initiatives.

Read more about our service user engagement.

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