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Andover care home residents form important friendships with ‘pen pals’ at local primary school

Residents at Millway House are all smiles after making friends with children at a local school via a dedicated ‘pen pal’ scheme. 

The nurse-led care home has teamed up with Farleigh School in Red Rice and residents have each ‘buddied up’ with pupils at the local prep school. The children have been regularly writing to their pen pals and have sent celebratory cards on special occasions. And, with in-person meet-ups also a frequent occurrence, Millway House residents have also been invited to watch their young ‘buddies’ play cricket at the school over the summer. 

With intergenerational relationships known to bring great benefit to care home residents, Claire Lousteau, Home Manager, said she’s delighted to see the joy that the pen pal scheme has provided for everyone at Millway. 

She said: “Developing connections with younger generations can help older adults feel a greater sense of fulfilment, and it has been wonderful to see the boost these new friendships have brought to our residents. To see the smiles on each of their faces when they receive a letter or card from their pen pals, is just lovely, and we’re all looking forward to taking the trip out to watch cricket in the summer. A huge thank you to Millway staff and to everyone at Farleigh School for making this happen.” 

Peter Napthine, Farleigh School teacher, said: “We have been buddying up with care home residents since 2017 and now 200 of our pupils write to more than 250 residents from five care homes in the region. Our children love writing to their pen pals at Millway and have learnt so much. It’s such a great thing to do for all involved.” 

Farleigh School is a co-educational preparatory day and boarding school in Andover, Hampshire. Situated in 60 acres of parkland in the Test Valley, Hampshire, it educates around 430 children aged 3-13. 

Situated on the outskirts of Weyhill near Andover, Millway House offers excellent accommodation for nursing, dementia, and end of life care. 

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