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Penpals Initiative

Age Friendly Ireland

Clare Youth Service Logo

Programme: Clare

WHO Theme: Respect And Social Inclusion

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Positive Mental And Emotional Health

Funding Stream: minimal

Resources Required: Community Support, Financial

Cost: 0-500


Clare Comhairle na nOg – the local youth parliament wanted to run an intergenerational project where their students could reach out to older people, like pen pals. The Comhairle had a discussion during the lockdown about how tough it was for older people who had no relatives or visitors to keep in touch with them and were therefore very socially isolated. They talked about what would be the best way to contact these older people, so they wrote to nursing homes and retirement villages offering to be pen pals. Staff identified the older people who had no one visiting them and provided their first names. The Comhairle group shared the list out and wrote to several older people each.

Aim of Initiative

Who is it aimed at

Nursing home residents

Steps critical to success

  1. Organisation of who was doing what
  2. Willing participants
  3. n/a

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Motivation to keep it going
  2. n/a
  3. n/a

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. It brought happiness to the nursing home residents when they couldn’t see their family members
  2. n/a
  3. n/a

Evaluation / Report:

Brian McManus - Comhairle Co-ordinator Clare Youth Service