18 Feb 2024

Dutch School Brings Cheer to Bedford Home Care Clients in Pen Pal Exchange

School children from Holland have written personalised cards to Right at Home Clients living in Bedford, as part of a New Year pen pal scheme.

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Local homecare provider, Right at Home Bedford, has teamed up with a school in the Netherlands to set up a pen pal scheme, connecting elderly Clients with English language students.

School children, aged 14 to 16, from Lorentz Lyceum school in Arnhem, were tasked with writing New Year cards to 20 Right at Home Clients, each with a personalised message tailored to their hobbies and interests.

Mrs H, age 79 of Brickhill, said she was overjoyed to receive her card this week and plans to write back to her new pen pal.

She added: “I was only saying today that I needed to write more letters, this is a sign! I would love to reply to this beautifully written and thoughtful card."

The idea of the pen pal scheme was spawned by Sylvia van Lijssel, who teaches English at the school.
“I thought it would be a great way for the children to test their English skills by writing to someone from a different country and a different generation,” she said. “I’m really grateful to receive such a warm reaction to this initiative. It strengthens the experience for the students and myself.”

Jagdeep Ahluwalia, owner of Right at Home Bedford, said the scheme has already made a huge impact on the local community.

He commented: “It was such a thoughtful initiative from the children, and our Clients were thrilled to read the messages. Cards were sent to around 20 of our Clients, many of whom are already planning their replies. It has really lifted their spirits.”

Jagdeep added: “Prior to starting care, we always put together detailed person-centred care plans, exploring the background, hobbies and interests of our Clients, so this was really helpful for the children when it came to writing their cards.”

Right at Home Bedford provides domiciliary care and support to adults living in their own homes across Bedford and Central Bedfordshire.

The provider has been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and has received a score of 9.9/10 on independent review site homecare.co.uk.

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