Just before Christmas last year the headteacher of Neston Primary School, Rob Golding, contacted Neston Angels with the idea of some of his pupils writing to our clients. The impact has been huge!
Neston Angels is a project run by us that supports older people who live alone to remain active and socially engaged. Originally set up by CAN Group, it has become a really important part of our work since we took it on just over 3 years ago so when Rob contacted us with his idea it made perfect sense but we really didn't comprehend the impact it would have until recently.
The children wrote a number of letters and they were all hand delivered by our volunteers, many of them being read together. Many of our clients wanted to respond in kind, even just to say thank you but many went much further. These letters where then delivered back to the children.
Fast forward to June and Neston Primary School invited one of their new 'pen pals' to visit for tea and cake and to meet some of the children and Nancy duly obliged, sharing stories from her childhood and much more. Another great success.
We decided that before the school year ended we would try something special, we would offer the pen pals the chance to come and enjoy a movie together and what better movie than the modern Disney classic, Up. The story of an older man and a young boy who embark on an adventure together.
Yesterday, it happened and what a day!
Tea, Coffee, Cake and Sandwiches were provided by the Neston Angels team and music and great company (and popcorn) provided by Neston Primary School got the afternoon off to a fine start. The looks on people's faces when they were finally introduced was heart warming as big smiles beamed from young and old. By the way, the youngest person in the room was just 6 years old and the eldest, 101!
After a while chatting, everyone settled down to watch the movie and afterwards everyone went their separate ways but with bonds made that seemed to cheer everyone.
After the event, there was one common thread, summed up perfectly by Rob Golding '...next time, forget the film'. There will be a next time!
This morning we received this message:
From Nancy and I, a very Big Thank You to you and everyone who helped to coordinate and bring together yesterdays very successful Event. The children were fantastic and displayed great talent in their melody of songs. The food was lovely as was the company of everyone who attended. Nancy never stopped smiling and had a truly wonderful afternoon
Neston Angels is only partly funded and we have been running a campaign for the past three months to raise the money we need to not only continue the work but to develop it further. More older people who live alone being supported, more activities to get involved in, more opportunities to meet other people. We need to raise £15,000 to make this happen but we already have over £5000. Can you help us to reach our target and support local older people who are isolated and lonely?