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Stradishall charity YOPEY appeals to young people to write letters during lockdown




A Stradishall charity is appealing to youngsters to write letters to elderly people who are at risk of becoming lonely during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Young People of the Year charity - known as YOPEY - have asked people aged five to 25 to handwrite and photograph a letter, which will then be sent to residents in care homes to help raise their spirits.

The charity usually runs a befriending scheme which sees young people visit care homes and spend quality time with residents but the service had to be stopped due to the country going into lockdown.

YOPEY have set up a letter writing scheme to prevent residents in care home becoming lonely during lockdown. (34730406)
YOPEY have set up a letter writing scheme to prevent residents in care home becoming lonely during lockdown. (34730406)

Tony Gearing, charity founder, said: “When the lockdown happened, many young volunteers still wanted to do their bit so I started a letter-writing scheme.

“We have already sent out hundreds of letters but I want more young people to get involved, not
just those who are YOPEY befrienders.”

Mr Gearing is also appealing to care homes in West Suffolk and beyond who want to take part in the scheme. “I realise this is an incredibly tough time for care homes and their staff so this is a free service to put smiles on the faces of your residents,” he said.

Letters are sent to care homes in packs of up to 20 and can include drawings. Writers are also asked to include some photos of themselves to go along with the letter.

Anyone wishing to take part should write a letter on one side of paper beginning with ‘Dear Resident’ and take a photo of it. The photos can be emailed to hello@yopey.org.