Appeal For Letters To Be Sent To Veterans During Lockdown

Charities and care homes are calling on the public to send veterans cards or letters to help combat loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.

As many veterans fall into the 'vulnerable' category, they are being told to self-isolate for 12 weeks - leaving them with little to no social interaction.

Royal Star and Garter, which has care homes in southern England and the Midlands, has launched the ‘Letters with Love’ campaign to keep residents interacting and socialising with the wider community.

Helena Maher, home manager of the Surbiton home in south London, said: “We thought we’d put the campaign together to encourage the children to still be writing to the residents, so the contact with the community [is] still continuing.

98-year-old Florence Mahoney, who served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War, moved into the care home before Christmas.

“It’s very difficult…I came in and I’ve made friends, and suddenly I’ve lost them again,” she said.

“I think to get a letter through your front door is an amazing thing and if you’re not used to getting correspondence or you’re not meeting people, it must be lovely.”

However, the Royal Star and Garter care homes are not alone in their approach.

The International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire have set up their 'Operation Gratitude' appeal.

Nicky van der Drift, CEO of the centre, said loneliness was a “huge issue” before coronavirus forced the country into lockdown.

“We thought it would be a great idea to get all those kids that are at home, all their parents who are struggling for things to do, to create art, write stories, write letters and then we will send them out to the veterans from here,” she said.

Alongside appeals for letters, other organisations have set up home delivery services and online group hang-outs to combat loneliness during the pandemic.

FCD Summary

For many older veterans, the country-wide lockdown means being away from people for a number of weeks.

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