Kilmarnock care home residents seeking pen pals as big-hearted primary school backs initiative

A Kilmarnock care home is seeking pen pals made of the write stuff for their residents.

Residents of Springhill Nursing Home, based in the town's Portland Road, are reaching out to the Ayrshire community in a bid to connect with folk happy to put pen to paper.

And the staff are hopeful, now that Covid restrictions in care homes are easing, pen pals will visit with the resident they have been writing to one day.

The initiative has already been embraced by Annanhill Primary School pupils. However, this idea is open to everyone at any age from across the region.

Samantha Strain, who works with Springhill Nursing Home, came up with the pen pal plan.

Speaking to Ayrshire Live, Samantha said: "I was showing some of the residents pictures of my dog on my phone and it got me thinking the older generation never really used technology to communicate with friends, and I wanted to bring them back to sending and receiving letters.

"It's rare for residents to get letters these days and I also thought it would also be nice for younger people to start writing letters too, as we rely on technology to communicate with friends and family.

"We've reached out to primary schools but we are hoping to reach more interested people in the Ayrshire area at any age.

"When we told the residents about organising pen pals, they were all really excited and happy to know people would want to write to them.

"It's a nice link from the care home to the wider Ayrshire community and now that Covid restrictions are being lifted, it might be nice for residents to meet their pen pal for visits, too.

"We hope you'll give our pen pal project a shot. It'll give our residents a sense of purpose again and something to look forward to."

If you are interested in becoming a pen pal, please address your letter to: Lyndsey Donlin, Springhill Home, 80 Portland Road, Kilmarnock, KA1 2BS.