Pen pals united

Bolton Clarke Riddell Gardens residents Marie Bryce, Stephen Parsons, Patricia Connely and Jenny Willmott received letters from students (Damjan Janevski) 414092_01

Residents from a Sunbury aged care facility were excited to receive letters through Diggers Rest Primary School’s pen pals initiative.

The program involved about 30 primary school students from years 3 and 4, who wrote letters to Bolton Clarke Riddell Gardens residents about their interests.

The program was designed to improve student’s writing skills, promote community connection, and bring joy to the recipients.

The students were provided with information about the residents interests and backgrounds.

Riddell Gardens lifestyle services co-ordinator Jenna Coghlan said that the aged care facility and school tried to match students with residents that shared similar interests.

“They were pleasantly surprised … they were very happy that they shared those interests,” Ms Coghlan said.

Ms Coghlan said that one resident was particularly excited to receive a letter from a student who enjoyed visiting op-shops as much as she did, and another received one from a student who also loved singing.

“It … shows the different generations having similar interests,” Ms Coghlan said.

Ms Coghlan said that the program reflects the community spirit of Sunbury and the surrounding suburbs.

“We’re very community focused here … we’ve always had that connection to local schools and kindergartens.”

Oscar Parry