Elderly residents living at a Huddersfield care home have received more than 150 letters from all over the world thanks to a local charity.

People at Thornhill Care Home on Thornhill Road, Edgerton, have been receiving art, crafts, poetry and friendly messages from as far away as Australia after signing up to a scheme aimed at reducing loneliness.

The Give … A Few Words community interest company, based in Kirklees, was set up during the Covid-19 pandemic to support care home residents in the area during lockdown.

Following the success of the initiative the company has continued to distribute letters and packages it receives from all over the world to care homes across Kirklees.

Thornhill Care Home has so far received 166 letters, which have included words, embroidery, art, clay decorations and more.

They have been sent from all over Kirklees and the wider Yorkshire region as well as London, Inverness and Sydney, Australia, to name a few.

Give … A Few Words receives the letters from kind-hearted people such as college students, those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, retired people, carers, families, businesses and community organisations.

Sharron Wilkinson from Give … A Few Words contacted Thornhill Care Home activities co-ordinator Ilona Ruttle earlier this year to see if residents would be interested in receiving letters.

Resident Katherine Standing, 96, above, with a postcard. Main image (top) is Blanche Patch, 102.

Ilona said: “I didn’t know what to expect but I was totally amazed by the wonderful letters that arrived for the residents.

“One of our ladies, Joyce, said she will treasure them. As she is a very private person and does not have visitors these letters meant so much to her.

“At first I was going to just hand the envelopes out but I soon realised there is so much in each one and so much to read to the residents that this was going to take time.

“So we started to deliver them in one-to-one sessions. So much work has been put into each letter and artwork. It really is such a special thing for all concerned.”

Blanche Patch, 102, was one of those who has been receiving letters. She said: “I would like to thank all the people that wrote to me. It’s wonderful to receive the letters.”

Katherine Standing, 96, said: “How wonderful. It’s a remarkable thing they are doing, writing to me.”

Mary Lynch, 85, added: “I am going to write back and thank all these amazing volunteers for writing to me.”

Sharron, from Give … A Few Words, visited Thornhill Care Home to deliver a batch of letters in person, as well as a gift bag for the staff.

She said: “Give … A Few Words came about at the beginning of lockdown in 2020 in response to a Huddersfield based care home whose residents were feeling isolated and unable to see their family and friends.

“Since then we have sent over 1,500 letters per year for care home residents, charities and for people isolated across the community.

“Not just words but people normally receive at least five letters which includes personalised post matched to hobbies and interests, crafts, art such as water colour paintings, clay decorations, poetry and lots more. We quite often can’t believe what falls out of envelopes.

“These are written by the kindest and most wonderful volunteers the width and breadth of the country and overseas too.

“It is a genuine pleasure working on this project and I feel very humble and privileged to see the best of humanity every single day.”

To find out more about Give … A Few Words including how to become a volunteer letter writer with them go to https://thegive.co.uk/

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.