February 13, 2020 News

Family-run Hertfordshire care home marks Make a Friend Day with launch of pen pal project with local girls’ school

A Hertfordshire care home has teamed up with a local school to form friendships the old-fashioned way by sharing letters to mark National Make a Friend Day 2020.

Foxholes Care Home and Hitchin Girls’ School have joined forces to pair up eight residents with students as part of its pen pal project, which will see them exchange letters seasonally throughout the year.

Having been written yesterday (Tuesday) to mark the launch, Hitchin Girls’ School Year 13 student, Charlotte Bishop, who is leading the initiative, dropped off the first batch of letters to the home today (Wednesday), which were from a mix of students in secondary and sixth form education.

National Make a Friend Day takes place annually on 11th February in the UK and encourages people from different backgrounds to form new friendships, to help broaden their horizons, see things from a different perspective, sharpen their social skills, and prevent loneliness.

Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said: “We’re really excited to collaborate with Hitchin Girls’ School on this pen pal project, especially with it coinciding with National Make a Friend Day.

“The majority of friendships formed in schools are made between people in the same age bracket and those around them, and the same is true for care homes. We wanted to breakdown this barrier and offer our residents the chance to form friendships with younger people. The elderly have lived full, eventful lives and have wonderful stories to share with the students, and vice versa we hope!”

Foxholes’ 93-year-old resident, Bryan Orchard, said: “I can’t wait to reply to my first letter from the school, it’s a great idea and a way for people from two very different walks of life to connect, share and enjoy each other’s stories. Everyone’s friendly at Foxholes!”

Sophie, a Year 9 student taking part in the positive scheme, said: “If my grandparent was in a care home, I’d want them to have someone to talk to, so I’m excited to be involved in this project!”

Foxholes Care Home is a residential care home set in 18 acres of sprawling Hertfordshire countryside, surrounded by horse paddocks and an abundance of wildlife. Purpose-built in 2012, the luxury home provides the highest standards of accommodation and facilities.

The home provides both residential and respite care as well as having access to a GP surgery, chiropody and ophthalmology, and many other services. A hair and beauty salon, bistro, cinema, ice cream parlour, and orangery make Foxholes a unique place to visit and live.

For more information on Foxholes Care Home, please visit https://www.foxholescarehome.com/.

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