A Burnham-On-Sea community group is expanding its work in helping to tackle loneliness and isolation among local care home residents with deliveries of letters and postcards.
Women Who Write launched last year and involves a small group of volunteers of all ages writing letters and postcards to those who may feel lonely or isolated.
A volunteer told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: “Our first associate group has now been set up – Women Who Write in Richmond-upon-Thames. They will be writing to mental health units there and also in Manchester.”
“It is great to see the word spreading. We were very happy when they approached us to see if we minded them setting up. We wish them all the best and know they will make a difference to all those they reach out to. We have had discussions with another group who hope to set up soon.”
“It is easy to see why others are inspired to set up a group when we get such wonderful feedback from our recipients.”
“We have loved hearing from the men’s dementia unit we are writing to –‘The gents have sat around and enjoyed listening to peoples’ travels.”
“They have also been able to relate to the stories they hear about, the areas travelled and some names they recognize. It has started a discussion amongst themselves and unearthed some of their own memories.’”
“When our patients can be intrusive, possibly bored, sitting down with an interesting read really helps! In fact they themselves have been inspired to make a postbox. So patients can write letters and postcards. Patients have to walk up the corridor to post their correspondence so it is helping them encourage exercise and mobility.”
Meanwhile Burnham’s Women Who Write has joined up with The Hello Project who are responding to loneliness in Puriton and Woolavington to provide people with letters and cards to individuals who hopefully will appreciate a card or letter and maybe write letters for us too.
WWW volunteers Helen and Ann were also invited to King Alfred School Academy recently for an interview with the Jill Dando Press Centre. This was to provide more information on the group after one of the classes had been kind enough to make and write letters for us to deliver. The cards were exceptionally well received.
A spokesperson from Burnham’s Frith House Care Home said: ‘Whilst all letters are special and well received, this one attached from an 11 year old boy is particularly charming. In the interests of equality, he also took the time to annotate the ‘Women Who Write’ logo so it was gender appropriate! What a fabulous letter and a fabulous initiative.”
And a resident and formal school teacher at Broughton Lodge said: “The letters were well thought out, with very good spelling, neat hand writing & fine art work. Thank you boys and girls for your thoughtfulness shown to others.”
Women Who Write has continued to deliver to care homes and hospital units.
“As well as our usual cards, letters and poems we also included some Christmas presents too. We had asked if any of our volunteers could possibly make a small item such as a tissue holder or glasses case.”
“We were blown away with their donations not only did we get those items but handmade angels, twiddlemuffs, lovely wrapped sweets, toiletries & quilted items eg bags, coasters, bookmarks. Most of them were given out on Christmas day, giving those who maybe did not have much or were in hospital over Christmas a little something extra.”
“We had the following feedback from a ladies mental health unit. ‘Two parcels arrived today and I can’t thank you enough! The ladies absolutely loved the cards and letters – the kind gifts that were sent will be given with the Christmas dinner! Merry Christmas to you and all your writers ! I hope you know how much Christmas Cheer you have brought to our Ward.”
If anyone is making a new year resolution to make a difference, reach out to someone who is lonely, or take up a new hobby then why not join.
Correspondence can be dropped in to St Andrew’s Church in Burnham or posted via WWW The Vicarage, 38 Rectory Road, Burnham-On-Sea, TA8 2BZ. Just start your letter, card, poem with a simple Hello, Dear Friend, Dear Reader and end with just your first name or initials leaving space for one of our labels.