'I have been touched by the kindness of people'

The manager of a Leeds care home said she was touched  by the kindness of dozens of people who responded  to her plea to help cheer up residents during the coronavirus lockdown.

Saturday, 28th March 2020, 11:45 am
The Oakhaven Care Home team with letters and pictures sent in by wellwishers. Care home manager Vickie Scott is pictured (back row/far right.) Care home resident Mavis Thompson is pictured (front/ row centre)

Non essential visitors are not allowed to enter Oakhaven Care Home at Oakwood, which looks after 21 residents.

Families have been asked not to visit until further notice.

Care home manager Vickie Scott was concerned about the loss of social interaction for residents at the usually busy home.

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Lattrers and pictures sent to Oakhaven Care Home in Leeds

So she posted a message on social media site nextdoor.co.uk on Friday March 20 asking for "kind souls" to write a letter, which could be used to start conversations with residents.

Mrs Scott wrote in her post: "We are currently unable to accept non essential visitors due to the concerns relating to coronavirus.

"This has left a huge gap for us, especially as many of our activities came from out of home providers."

More than 60 people have sent cards and letters, including one woman from Connecticut in America.

She wrote: "How lovely to be invited to write to you. I too am in isolation as my husband is unwell, but he appears to be getting better."

Children from St Nicholas Catholic Primary School in Oakwood sent in letters and pictures they have painted in a bid to cheer residents up.

Mrs Scott said: "I just feel like these are really difficult times and the residents have been missing contact with the outside world.

"We just wanted to find a way to cheer up their days and this seemed perfect. I'm hoping we will be creating long term pen pals.

"I was delighted by the amount of responses we have had. I'm getting around five to ten a day.

"I have been touched by the response and the kindness of people - it has been overwhelming."

"The residents have been reading the letters and talking about them. It has been really stimulating for them and they enjoyed it.

"Everybody will get a reply to every letter that has been sent."