Gerald Burns Pharmacy found an innovative way to connect the generations through a pen pal program with the help of Bicton Primary School. Over the past two months, twenty-five older residents in the community have participated in the program, along with students in Years 4 to Year 6 at Bicton Primary School. The two groups send each other regular letters, writing about everything from TikTok to what it was like living through a world war. They have enjoyed learning about each other’s worlds and new friendships have been formed.
Loneliness and social isolation was something we were concerned about before we even knew about COVID. In Bicton we have a lot of older people who live by themselves, don’t know their neighbours or have any family close by. They’ve had the most incredible lives but don’t have anyone to share this with. If you’ve ever had a pen pal, you’ll understand the joy that a hand-written letter can give. With the events of 2020, our pen pal project has become even more meaningful. It’s been a delight to see the reactions from everyone.
‘We’ve had really good feedback from our elderly patients; we often get people coming in and asking if their next letter has arrived,’ Tahlia said.