PEI

Pen pal program looks to connect seniors with newcomers, kids

A P.E.I. social worker is hoping to connect seniors with kids, newcomers and anyone else wanting to exchange good, old-fashioned letters.

'This kind of brings the community to them'

A P.E.I. social worker is looking for people to be pen pals with seniors on the Island as part of a program called 'pigeon post.' (Getty Images/Flickr RF)

A P.E.I. social worker is hoping to connect seniors with kids, newcomers and anyone else wanting to exchange good, old-fashioned letters.

Kaela Burchell is a social worker at the Prince Edward Home who is looking for people willing to send letters to seniors as part of a pen pal program called "pigeon post."

The idea is to help connect the seniors with the community.

"We do have a lot of people that don't have a lot of family and friends and it can be quite isolating here," Burchell said. "This kind of brings the community to them."

Anyone can write

Originally the idea was for children to send letters, but then they expanded their idea to anyone looking to practice their English or possibly French with the seniors at Beach Grove Home.

"It will really brighten their day," she said. "I think it's beneficial to both parties because you have residents who can share their knowledge and ... it connects residents with the community and helps with their overall well-being."

She said the program will start at the Prince Edward Home with the younger residents under 65 years old and letter writers will be matched with a resident. They are looking for a minimum of three letters and hopefully continuing after that, with some of the seniors even hoping to maybe meet their pen pals. Interested letter writers can email Burchell at krburchell@ihis.org for more information.

With files from Stephanie Kelly

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