RESIDENTS at a Bolton care home have been receiving postcards from around the world as part of a scheme to stop loneliness.

Bakewells Care Home on Junction Road, Deane, started taking part in the Postcards of Kindness project three months ago, and they have now received over 40 postcards.

Sending and the receiving the cards prevents the residents from feeling lonely. Postcards have arrived from around the UK and further afield, including California and Australia.

Julie OConnor, the activities coordinator at Bakewells Care Home, explained that the scheme helps residents to “understand that they are not alone out there”.

She said: “It is really good, we hang them on a tree so that the families that visit can read along with their loved ones.

"People can put them on the tree and read them to combat loneliness and isolation.

“The cards also help to remind the older people that someone is thinking about them.

“The postcards spark memories of events and past holidays, they get quite excited about receiving a postcard.

“We get excited when the postman’s coming, if we don’t get one, we know there’s one coming tomorrow.

“Our residents love to listen to and read the postcards. They inspire conversations and even ideas for activities. We look at the map to see how far people are writing to us.”

For some residents the postcards allow them to be creative, with one resident designing her own cards.

“She’s been so proud that people are getting to enjoy what she’s made,” Julie reveals.

“The residents benefit from an arts and crafts point of view as well as a reminiscing point of view.”

It’s not only postcards which people are sending; one resident received a knitted heart after she wrote back to a woman who she had something in common with.

The scheme will help bridge the generational gap as Julie plans to involve school children, Brownies and Guides who can write their own cards and read them to residents.

Julie explains how the cards can help young people “realise that the people who are staying in the home here have had a life, whether it be holidays they have been on and careers that they have had.

“It is lovely to get the younger generation involved in communicating with older people, they have so much to gain.”

The scheme is organised via a Facebook page and there is a spreadsheet which logs all the care home addresses and where cards have been sent to.

There’s even a section entitled ‘100 Club’ for those residents who are celebrating their centenary birthday .

If you would like to participate in the project you can join ‘Postcards of Kindness - The Group’ on Facebook.