People needing to shield themselves from the coronavirus COVID19 will find the coming weeks a struggle as they are unable to meet friends and family or leave their home. Age UK Derby and Derbyshire are working to find ways of making sure older people feel valued and in contact with the outside world. If you would like to help writing a letter might be one way.
We are in contact with many older people who normally attend our services and places like our Chaddesden Park Centre for activities and social contact. We are working hard to ensure they get regular telephone contact from a familiar voice but a letter would give a real boost too.
To make sure everyone stays safe, and your letter or card does nothing but good, please follow the guidance below:
- Please only sign the letter with your first name only or ‘from a well-wisher’ type neutral sign-off.
- Don’t share personal details like your address, age, date of birth or anything that would identify you.
- Please don’t make personal or discriminatory comments.
- It is ok to share some personal circumstances like ‘I live with my husband’ or ‘ I have a cocker spaniel’, and a little about what you do or did for a living.
- It’s good to describe positive things such as things growing in your garden, things you are doing to keep yourself cheerful, activities you enjoy, memories and reminiscence, the view from your window (keeping your exact location secret).
- Ask questions to stimulate an older person reading the letter to think about how they feel: ‘I’ve cooked myself a hot meal tonight, I find a nice hot dinner really makes me feel better when times are tough – do you find this too?’ or ‘I love this time of year when the air is cool but the sun is warm, what is your favourite time of year?’.
- Encourage your reader to follow the Government guidance and to use support services if they need help.
When you have finished your letter or card put it in an envelope marked ‘Letter Friend’ and send it to:
Age UK Derby and Derbyshire
29A Market Place,
(If you have lots of letters post them all together in a large envelope)
Thank you for helping at this time,
Yours, Katy Pugh, Age UK Derby and Derbyshire Chief Executive