Northampton

Coronavirus: Children send care home residents uplifting messages

Pupils from Park Junior School Image copyright Park Junior School
Image caption Pupils from Park Junior School have recorded messages for care home residents

Schoolchildren have recorded uplifting messages for self-isolating elderly people after an online appeal by care home staff.

Carers at Bilton Court in Wellingborough asked for cheerful letters and pictures to raise the morale of self-isolating residents.

Messages by Year 5 pupils at the town's Park Junior School were broadcast live on BBC local radio on Wednesday.

Head teacher David Tebbutt said it was "a little boost in a challenging time".

Cath Holmes, from care home provider Anchor Hanover, said: "Meaningful engagement is an essential part of living well and we have lots of practical resources and ideas readily available to support our residents and colleagues in care homes through the coming weeks."

Mr Tebbutt said he asked Year 5 pupils if anyone wanted to help people in self-isolation and "everyone's hand went up".

"We want them to know people are thinking of them," he said.

"Children are very aware of their predicament, they're worried about their grandparents and their parents.

"To share goodwill like this might just make a difference to someone. It's a very lonely time for many."

Messages from Park Junior School children:

  • Amelia, 9, said: "Stay well and look after yourself. If school closes I will be lonely because I don't have any siblings - but I do have two gerbils."
  • Calvin, 9, said: "Possibly you could learn to play chess. I love chess."
  • Lily, 10, told residents: "I hope you're keeping yourself safe and well and maybe try a crossword."
  • Sahil added: Don't worry. If you have some fish at home, feed them and watch them swim about."
  • Vanshi, 10, said: "I know it is a hard time for you but there are going to be better times ahead."

Mr Tebbutt said schools were aware of the need to reassure children, with teachers working hard to keep pupils informed "without alarm".

Current government advice online states anyone who has a new continuous cough or high temperature should not visit care homes and should instead self-isolate.

People who are "generally unwell" should also stay away from care homes, according to the advice.

It adds, however, care homes should consider the "positive impact of seeing friends and family" when reviewing their visitor policies.

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