A schoolboy has received a letter of encouragement and sympathy from Queen Consort Camilla after the pensioner he used to read to died.

Milan Paul Kumar, a pupil at Bolton School, supports a charity called Silver Stories.

Children, known as Silver Readers, call a Silver Listener every week and then read a short story or poem to them.

The Bolton News: Milan's letter from Queen Consort CamillaMilan's letter from Queen Consort Camilla (Image: Daxa Kumar)

The idea behind the initiative is to help children to become more confident in their reading skills at the same time as linking children to older members of the communities.

Milan, 10, has been supporting the charity for more than a year by taking part in a successful 10K sponsored walk in Edinburgh and reading to an elderly, housebound lady, Eileen from Woking Surrey.

Milan and Eileen both recently celebrated their 50 Reads Certificate together and exchanged Christmas cards.

Every Saturday at 5.30pm, Milan and Eileen would have a chat about their week. 

Children are only supposed to read for 10 minutes each week, but Milan and Eileen would be chatting and reading for 30-40mins every week.

Milan would often say, " I have improved my reading skills and made a new friend."

Sadly, Eileen passed away from a chest infection in the new year and Milan is devastated.

They were both looking forward to catching up on January 7th after the Christmas holidays.

Milan said: "Eileen was a good friend to me and I will miss our weekly chats.

“We were planning to reach our 100 Reads Certificate in 2023.

"I lit a candle and read a prayer for Eileen. I wanted her to know how much I will miss her."

And since Milan has received his sad news, Her Majesty Queen Consort Camilla, a patron for the charity Milan supports, has written a personal letter to Milan expressing sympathy about losing his friend Eileen, and encouraging him to continue reading and writing.

The letter from the Queen Consort said: “Dear Milan, Thank you for your very kind letter.

“I was so sorry to hear that Eileen had died.

“I know that she will have loved reading with you and would be encouraging you to still achieve the 100 reads.

“Happy New Year! With my best wishes and keep reading.”