People are being asked if they could spare a few minutes to put smiles on the faces of isolated residents as Swindon Borough Council launches a new initiative to help those who live in care homes.

As part of the Council’s #HereForSwindon support measures, people across the borough – children in particular – are being encouraged to write letters to care home residents while the lockdown measures are in place.

People who live in care homes are among the most vulnerable in society and the coronavirus pandemic has left them unable to see friends and family, or to take part in other social activities.

The initiative, called Care Mail, will see letters being sent that would contain messages of support and reassurance, which could be seen as a valuable lifeline for elderly people during this difficult period. The Council is encouraging people to make their messages as colourful and creative as possible.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We thought this initiative would be a wonderful way of putting smiles on the faces of some of our most vulnerable residents.

“It will also help to connect people to each other and to give our younger residents the chance to think about how this pandemic has affected those on the opposite side of the age scale.

“Throughout this difficult period there have been some heart-warming displays of kindness and gratitude from members of the public, and we want to harness that goodwill for the benefit of those who are really struggling at the moment.”

The Council would welcome letters of support from people of all ages, though messages from children would be particularly well received by the residents.

The letters do not need to be addressed to an individual, and the person writing the message will not know those who would be receiving them – just that they will be received and enjoyed by someone who is feeling isolated at this time.

All messages should be addressed to Care Mail, Civic Offices, Swindon, SN1 2JH.

The Council’s #HereForSwindon campaign has seen a number of support measures put in place for residents and businesses during the pandemic.

To date, more than 700 food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable residents who are unable to do their own shopping, as well as many more food deliveries being organised by local charities and groups.

The Council continues to work closely with parish councils and the voluntary sector to ensure vulnerable residents are not forgotten about during these difficult times.