A NURSING home in lockdown due to coronavirus is looking for people in self-isolation to write letters to.

White Ash Brook Care Home in Oswaldtwistle is currently unable to admit any visitors, making the elderly residents feel lonely.

Maintenance manager Gabriel Cassidy introduced a new pen pals initiative to help combat loneliness in both residents and those they write to.

Mr Cassidy said: “Initially we started it to keep people in contact with friends and family, but now we are writing to people in Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland.

“I was watching a lady in the care home struggling to use a mobile phone and after I explained how to use it, I thought about what else we could do.

“So, I bought an original postbox to put in the hallway and they all started writing letters to their loved ones especially because we are in lockdown.

“The best therapy is activity and this keeps them active.”

Residents have also been writing postcards they designed themselves, and would like to write to others in self-isolation.

Mr Cassidy said: “It is really cheering them up amid the coronavirus lockdown.

“We have White Ash Brook School helping us at the moment and we are hoping we can get them some more pen pals to write to.

“Visiting has been stopped and it gets everyone down a little bit, because visiting is usually the highlight of their day.

“They are upset but they are vulnerable, so we need this lockdown.”

Being able to write letters is also proving popular with the family and friends of those in the care home.

Mr Cassidy said: “The family members are loving it because they can still keep in touch with the residents.”

Resident Pauline Procter said: “It is a very nice idea to be able to send letters to people in self-isolation.

“It is great to get together to make postcards and writing letters to post.”

Mr Cassidy said: “If people are in self-isolation, then they can write a letter to us and it could mean a lot for both pen pals.

“Some are not as able bodied as others so we write for them, but others will write essays about what they are doing.

“It is quite exciting for them when they get a reply asking how they are, where they are and what they have been doing.

“It gets everyone together around the table to write and show each other what they are doing."

To get involved, email manager@whiteashbrook.co.uk.