Pupils from Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Thornaby have teamed up with housebuilder Barratt Homes North East to help combat loneliness over the festive period.

Children wrote Christmas letters to residents at Ayresome Court Care Home, close to Barratt Homes’ Leven Woods development in Yarm.

The partnership aims to put a smile on the faces of those who have spent the majority of the year away from their loved ones.

With new research1 stating that 6.4m people aged 70 and over are worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their lives, the campaign was launched in response to what has been a particularly difficult year for elderly people across the region.

On receiving the letters, home manager Elizabeth Robinson said: “The pandemic has kept so many families apart this year and had a huge effect on wellbeing.

“Loneliness is something that has affected so many of our residents, especially at this time of year when they haven’t been able to see their friends and families as often as they usually would.

“The residents all loved reading the letters from the children of Christ the King Catholic Primary School and we’re really grateful to Barratt Homes North East for arranging this. It was definitely a much-needed morale boost.”

Gill Hurst, sales manager at Leven Woods, added: “It was a pleasure to be able to connect with a local primary school and get the children thinking creatively and writing personal letters to residents at a nearby care home.

“We understand how difficult it has been for older people, the struggles that they face and how loneliness can affect them, and we wanted to offer our support.

“On top of this, we know it is so important that we continue to help our communities around us over the Christmas period and beyond.

“We’d like to thank both the primary school and the care home for taking the time to get involved in this wonderful activity.”