6-Year-Old Girl Begins Pen Pal Friendship With 94-Year-Old Care Home Resident
A six-year-old girl and 94-year-old woman from opposite ends of the country became unlikely friends recently after becoming pen pals during the pandemic.
Young Ella first started writing to Madge Weatherhead – a care home resident at the Little Bramingham Farm in Luton – at the start of lockdown, with her dad coming up with the idea as a way to help with her schoolwork.
The schoolgirl, from West Yorkshire, has since formed a ‘blossoming friendship’ with Madge, with the pair exchanging letters frequently – something the 94-year-old said has been a ‘real pick-me-up’.
It all started when Ella’s father, 34-year-old Ashley Davies, contacted the care home in Luton, which is where his partner Charlotte is from.
‘We were thinking of new ways to keep Ella entertained through lockdown and also from a learning point of view to help her with her handwriting,’ he told BBC News.
Her proud father continued:
But as well as the objective of helping her with her schoolwork, we really wanted to make sure she was doing something to put a smile on somebody else’s face.
Ella and Madge have continued to write to each other even as lockdown restrictions have begun to ease, with Ashley saying it’s been ‘lovely’ to see Ella learn a different perspective to her own.
Staff at the Little Bramingham Farm, run by charity Friends of the Elderly, said Madge had ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ getting the letters, with manager Emma Lawrance saying: ‘She feels like she’s giving something back, it really has helped her well-being.’
Throughout the pandemic, staff at the home had been encouraging outreach programmes to help keep residents connected to their community, with Emma saying they had been missing having community groups coming in. ‘Having those letters is just so important,’ she added.
Reading her letters makes me think of my own childhood and I love learning about Ella’s lockdown adventures. This new friendship with Ella means a lot… sadly many members of my family live abroad, so we don’t see each other as often as we’d like.
To receive letters from Ella is a real pick-me-up. It’s these small and kind things that help us stay strong in difficult times.
What a heartwarming story. It just goes to show that friendship truly knows no distance, nor age.
Hopefully Ella and Madge’s friendship will continue for years to come.
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Friends of the Elderly